Art Lesson Plan: Dream Houses Drawing - Elementary

Dream Houses Drawing

Submitted by: Linda Wood, St. John's Lower School, Houston, Texas
GRADE LEVEL: 4th through 6th grade
UNIT: Architecture/Drawing
PROJECT: Dream Houses (or Haunted Mansions)



Architecture handouts (from the Illustrated Architecture Dictionary), view finders, Drawing Pencils., Magic Rub Erasers., 12"x18" white Drawing Paper.Crow Quill Pens. and India ink. (or Ultra-Fine Point Markers.), Scissors., White Glue., Construction Paper.


Objectives: The learner will

  1. Gain an appreciation for styles of architecture - use a variety of sources to get ideas.

  2. Combine architectural elements to design a "dream house"

  3. Use pen and ink to develop textural interest

  4. Develop skills in perspective through close observation of angles - Use overlapping to show depth.

  5. Utilize elements and principles of design in an original composition.

  6. Develop skills in drawing.

Instructional Resources:

. Books

Famous Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright. - Renderings of 44 extraordinary structures designed by one of the 20th century’s most influential architects.


America's Painted Ladies: The Ultimate Celebration of Our Victorians. - A survey of Victorian homes from Searsport, ME, where the subtly detailed, white-bodied Mansard Carriage House Inn welcomes its guests, to a pink 1887 Steamboat Gothic in National City, near San Diego, here are dozens of Victorians, large and small, somber and vivid, plus an assortment of interiors.


Victorian Dream Homes: 160 Victorian & Farmhouse Plans from Three Master Designers.- This collection, and others by Home Planners, offers some beautifully modernized versions of Queen Anne, Romanesque, Gothic and Folk Victorian homes from three different architectural design firms.



Line, texture, rhythm, balance, repetition, perspective, cupola, dormer, gabled roof, gazebo, pediment, column, capital, and other architectural elements


1 Instruction/Motivation:

  1. Discuss briefly styles of architecture - show various examples

  2. Demonstrate ways transfer angles --show how to use view finder

  3. Demonstrate Crow Quill Pens. and India ink. drawing techniques for various textures



Make a booklet of ideas for each table from the Illustrated Architecture Dictionary. Create a PowerPoint that shows different examples of architectural elements... different kinds of capitals, windows, roof types, doors, gazebos, turrets, etc.


  1. Study handouts of architectural handouts - select features for your "Dream House"

  2. Combine elements to design your home - draw lightly with pencil.

  3. Transfer angles to show perspective. Hold pencil at an angle over the architectural model
    being used at the time. Transfer the same angles to the drawing by simply not bending
    the wrist, but moving the pencil to show the same angle on the drawing paper. Students then
    draw the angle. Focus on parallel lines when drawing windows, door frames, roof lines, etc. Horizontal and vertical edges of the paper may be used as guides for sighting angles.
    Viewfinders may be used to site angles to transfer to their drawings.

  4. Add freehand details such as people in the yard, animals, trees, fences, bikes, cars, etc.

  5. Optional: Work as a group at the table to create one scene -- connect drawings together in
    small groups (but in such a way that you could take them apart and have them stand alone
    when time to take them home).

  6. Outline drawing with Crow Quill Pens. and India ink. (or Ultra-Fine Point Markers.). Use pen to add
    textures -- shingles, siding etc.

  7. Cut drawing out (cut out windows if desired) - cut away the negative space.

  8. Put tiny dots of glue on back and mount on dark construction paper.

EmilyBHouseAlternate Ideas:

  1. Drawing on black paper - color with Prismacolor
      pencils or Construction Paper Crayons..

  2. Draw on black paper with white Prismacolor Colored Pencils.

  3. Color pen and ink drawing with Watercolor Paint..


  1. Did the learner create an interesting composition using a variety of architectural elements?

  2. Did the learner show textures?

  3. Did the learner create the illusion of depth through the use of overlapping and observation of angles?

  4. Did the learner show use a principles of design?

  5. Did the learner show skill and craftsmanship in drawing?

Alternate Lesson:

Haunted Houses/ Haunted Mansions

(This section was beefed up a little by Ken Rohrer)


Use any of the media listed above and the work of Lewis Barrett Lehrman for inspiration.

Haunted house and mansions have been portrayed on television and in the movies as old Victorian or Italiante style homes that are very large and are usually unkempt. Dead trees and unmowed grass adorn the lawn. Frequently there are broken or shuttered windows. What are some famous haunted houses you can think of? If you watch TV Land, you will see the Munsters and The Addams Family haunted mansions.


psycho house addams family house

Click on the images for full size

The house from the movie Psycho. It is on the Universal Studios lot near Los Angeles, California. There is no interior- just the outside frame.


The house above was going to be chosen in one of the Addams Family movies. Below left is the house that was used in the television series. A painting was made of this house and a few changes were made. The painting below appeared In the beginning of each episode. See more great pics here.


Addams Family Addams Family home


Munsters haunted mansion


The Munsters mansion (Picture above from The Munsters)

What other houses can you think of that would make a great haunted house or mansion? What can you do to your house to make it scary? Below you will see pictures of old houses that you could turn into haunted houses. What can you do to them to make them scary?


victorian house victorian mansion

Click on the images for the larger version

This house is in New York. There isn't much you need to do to make this haunted, is there? It is already on a hill, already is surrounded by trees without any leaves, and needs a coat of paint.

This victorian mansion is in Georgia. You will need to do a little work on this house to make it scary. What can you do to make it scary? Would you do anything with the red, white, and blue drape decorations?





Add to or Comment on this Page:

More To Explore