Stopping the Big Bad Wolf

Can you help the three little pigs build a house that can withstand the wolf's huffs and puffs? His breathe is pretty strong! This activity is designed for grades K through 5. This activity can be done at home in a small group, or in a classroom with groups.

Materials:

- "building" materials (any/all work)

- straws

- popsicle sticks

- toothpicks

- "roof" material

- cardstock

- playing cards

- cardboard

- poster board

- building surface (cardboard/poster board)

-tape

- hair dryer


Optional:

- the three little pigs book

- little pigs characters (Legos, marker caps, or folded paper work)

- wolf mask to decorate hair dryer

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Activity: Build a house that can handle the wolf's big bad breathe in 10 minutes. Each house must have a roof on top that covers the pigs inside. Possible modifiers include...

- limited building supplies (i.e. 20 straws and 2 feet of tape)

- having each group build with only one material (straws vs toothpicks)

- all sides of house must be enclosed with same roofing material

- the wolf visiting half way through building to quickly test each house


At the end of 10 minutes, go house to house trying to blow them down. After all houses have been tested, either facilitate a reflection or allow groups to rebuild their houses to be stronger.


Reflection Questions:

- What material worked the best?

- Why do you think some materials were more effective than others?

- Was your house able to withstand the huffing and puffing of the big bad wolf?

- How could you improve your design?


Tie it back: The three pigs aren't the only ones who have to deal with strong gusts. Here in Laramie, we get winds up to 75 miles per hour, as much as a Category 1 Hurricane! Architects have to think about how much wind a building can handle before constructing it. A taller building would have more wind pushing against it than a shorter building, so they use ground supports to keep it standing. How you designed your building for the wind is just like what architects do.


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College of Engineering & Applied Science Innovation Wyrkshop
(307) 766-6460  |  wyrkshop.org  |  tkerr1@uwyo.edu
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