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American Architectural Styles

Time Frame:
2 class periods that run 90 minutes each.


This lesson plan will help students identify American adaptions of housing styles using their features and hallmarks.

Main Curriculum Tie:
Interior Design II
Strand 2 Standard 2

Identify the American adaptations of housing styles such as:

Type Picture Key Elements
Log cabin Overlapping logs at corners, came from Sweden
Tudor Revival of Old English Style using half-timbering roof
Spanish Arcade, bartile roof, stucco, black wrought iron
Salt box 2 stories in front, 1 story in back long rear roofline
Cape Cod Symmetrical, one to one stories, clapboard siding and central door and chimney
Georgian Symmetrical, 2 stories, dentil trim, double hung windows with 9-10 panes, quoins, pilasters around paneled door, often has two chimneys.
Federal Symmetrical front, 3-4 stories, graduated windows where the windows get shorter with each floor or story, rectangular, belt-course between stories, front door with fanlights and sidelights, balustrade.
Greek Revival 2 story columns, large pediment towards street
Victorian Queen Anne Tower, wraparound porch, gingerbread, fish scale shingles
Prairie Horizontal lines, low-pitched roofs with overhanging eaves
Craftsman/Bungalow Deep front porch, exposed rafters, wide columns, shed dormers
Contemporary Clean simple lines, large windows, flat

American Architecture guided notes handout

American Architecture PowerPoint

The American House handout

The American House Video (Learning Seed)

Architectural Field Study Handout


Background For Teachers:
Plan for the field study by obtaining necessary permission, signatures and transportation well ahead of your scheduled date. Preview the PowerPoint in advance.

Student Prior Knowledge:
Students should have a good background in architectural features.

Intended Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to identify American adaptions of housing styles using their features and hallmarks.

Instructional Procedures:
Please refer to the lesson plans

  1. Distribute the American Architecture note guide.
  2. Present American Architecture PowerPoint and have students take notes.
  3. Show The American House Video and have students take notes.
  4. Day 2 - Use the field study as a method to asses student learning.

    (Note: You may run the field study like a tour instead of a test. Have the kids be tourists while you are a fun and creative tour guide. Local historical societies can help add some color to your narrative.)

Strategies For Diverse Learners:
Students may complete the study guide by using information from the text.

Assessment Plan:
This is a practical field study test. Drive to buildings of various architectural styles and have students identify the style along with the identifying features and hallmarks on the form provided.


Created Date :
Aug 09 2012 15:06 PM