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Middle School – 6th grade

Designing the Future

What does an architect do? 

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By middle school age, many students have considered what types of jobs/careers they might pursue, whether self-motivated or socially motivated. “Adolescence is a period in which boys and girls explore the society in which they live, the subculture into which they are about to move, the roles they may be called upon to play, and the opportunities to play roles which are congenial to their personalities, interests, and aptitudes (Super, 1957). It is because of this that middle school is a good time for students to be exposed to possibilities within the work force, where the stakes are low and it’s easy to change course. As an art educator, it is my responsibility to cover some career options that are within the creative realm.


For this unit, students will learn about the creative field of architecture —what an architect does in their day-to-day job, what areas the focus in, and what type of education they need. Then, through the process of design thinking, the students will apply 21st Century Skills such as communication, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, flexibility, and productivity as they work in groups to design and present a house design for the year 2053. Since this age group “strives for belonging and wants to socialize with peers, lessons should incorporate learning tasks in which they can collaborate with students” to learn how to work together effectively and engage in a lower-stakes project since they want to “avoid looking inferior to their peers at all costs” (Sickler-Voigt, 2020).

  • 6.1 CR Reference multiple sources for visual expression

  • 6.2 CR Brainstorm and experiment independently with ideas

  • 6.1 RE Select relevant vocabulary to define and describe works of art

  • 6.1 CO Identify how art reflects changing cultures over time

  • 6.3 CO Link observations, life experiences, and imagination for personal and creative expression

Essential Questions:

  • What does an architect do?

  • What type of architecture does an architect create?

  • How does the client and the location affect an architect’s design when they are creating a home?

  • What might a home look like in 30 years?

  • How does technology affect our day-to-day lives?

Student examples — Hastings Middle School, Upper Arlington

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