Three Little Pigs

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In this activity, leaners explore building techniques by recreating the story of The Three Little Pigs. They build model houses out of plastic grass, popsicle sticks, and building blocks, and then test to see how strongly their houses stand up to the huffing and puffing of a hair dryer. The activity uses the story to explore the design process of building, testing and changing, as well as the scientific method of predicting, measuring and analyzing. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Shredded green cellophane spring basket “grass” (or other straw-like material: yellow yarn, shredded paper, drinking straws, etc.)
  • Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors
  • Wooden blocks or LEGOs
  • Clay
  • Hair dryer


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Architectural Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Literature
  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation ESI, 0206403