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Problem Solving Plan #14


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Mark Natzke - ED381

 Building a tree stand

Problem Solving/Holistic Lesson Plan 

Building a Tree Stand or Tree House  

District Aim:  Students will discover the importance that geometry has in their everyday lives and apply geometry to their lives. 

Grade Level Goal:  Students will recognize how angles and shapes are used in the creation of buildings.  Students will be able to see what angles work the best to support the most weight.  Students will also see what shape is the best for creating their platform and roof over their head in their models. 

Grade Level:  Middle School and High School



   Students will evaluate each others tree stands or tree houses and determine which stand they would purchase. 

 They will compare and contrast the differences of each others and provide their classmates with feedback on how to improve their product.


Students will work together in groups and be encouraged to be creative in creating their tree house or tree stand. 

They will be able to decorate or camouflage their stand or house in any way that they choose.


Physical:  Role play - salesmanship.

Students will develop a model that they will present to the class.  The students will then have to prepare a presentation as if they where trying to sell their product to the class. 

Students will have to convince their classmates that the product they developed is worth their classmates buying.

Problem Statement:  Students are to design and build a model of either a tree stand or tree house.  The students will then give a presentation to the class, trying to sell their model to the rest of the class.  The students will also then write a one page paper describing which tree house or tree stand they would buy and explaining why without choosing their own.


     Students will choose what type of tree they will build their tree stand or tree house in and bring in a branch from that particular type of tree.

     Students must have some type of ladder that reaches from the ground to the tree house or tree stand.

     Their tree house or tree stand must contain a roof over the top to prevent inclement weather from coming in.

     Students must record and keep a budget for their tree stand or tree house.

     Tree stand or tree house must be able to hold at least 3 members of their group.

     Scale of one inch equaling one foot will be used.


     Students will work in groups of 3 or 4.

     Students will use toothpicks to represent (2 X 4)‘s.  Costing one dollar per (2 X 4).

     Students will use popsicle sticks to represent steel pipes used.  Costing five dollars per popsicle stick.

     Students will use glue to represent nails.  Costing three dollars per three ounce glue bottle.

     Students will use string to represent any rope used costing twenty-five cents per inch of string.

     Students will use paint to decorate their tree house or tree stand.  A one ounce bottle of paint will represent one gallon and cost seven dollars.

     All materials purchased after the initial buying period will cost 20% more than the original selling cost.

     Students will have to determine their selling price.


Process Skills:  Students will develop and use the following skills.

     Work together in groups.

     Follow set guidelines.

     Create a budget that they used in their creation.

     Presentation to their classmates.

     Recognize how geometry is part of their lives.


Rational Statement:  Students will build either a tree house or tree stand that they may build themselves in their ordinary lives.  Students will then see and understand how geometry is part of the building process.

Teacher Responsibilities:  The teacher is to let students know how much time they have to finish their project, make their presentation and when they will have to have their project completed by.

Student Responsibilities:  Students will be responsible for working with their classmates in their group, to build their model and present it to the class.  Students will also be responsible for handing in a report about their own creation and a classmates that they would wish to buy and what price they would pay for it.


Procedures:  Prior to the project, students will be given a brief over view of what they are to construct and pick their group members that will contain similar interest.  At this time they will also be told about presenting their creation to the class and how they will want to persuade their classmates to buy their model.  The students will then have to determine what tree they will build their model in and collect a branch of that tree outside of class.  The students will then be given the parameters to develop their tree stand or tree house and the students will have to brainstorm and determine what products they will need to buy for their creation.  The next class session will then be spent building and developing their tree stand or tree house.  Another day will be given for students to make final adjustments and to put together their presentations.  The students will then present their materials to the class and make their selling pitch.  After all the presentation are made, students will be given time out of class to write their reports about their own creation and the model that they would wish to purchase.


Evaluation:  Students will be graded on:

     Group participation.

     Ability to follow conditions and parameters.

     Presentation to the class.

     Report providing cost, materials, time spent on project, what it is meant for.

     Report of picking a classmates tree stand or tree house and why they choose that particular model.

  Follow up Activities:

     Students will determine the start up cost and what their profit would be if they went into business selling their tree stand or tree house to the public.

     Students can build a real life tree stand or tree house.

     Students can create a model of their tree house or tree stand on a computer disks.