Houses and Other Dwellings from 3-Ring Binders

Houses constructed from school binders are not only the easiest way to creatively reuse a typical classroom supply but also an enriching project that can be integrated across subject areas. Below you will see an example of how to make a birdhouse.
Photo Credit Hallie Bahn (20)

Applications Across Subjects:

Math
  • Measuring units (using rulers and other measuring tools to prepare materials)
  • Geometry units (looking at different shape and size materials to create different shape and size house parts)
  • Aact out word problems (ex. 5 birds are flying, 2 go in the house, how many are still flying?)
ELA
  • How-To books (about making the house)
  • Non-fiction writing about homes, birds and birdhouses, animals and animal homes, house construction, houses around the world
  • Fiction writing about where things live
  • Keep the binder open at the bottom and you can put your writing into the 3-rings so that the house is both art and a book cover
Social Studies
  • Study of homes, birds and birdhouses, animals and animal homes, house construction, houses around the world
Science
  • Study of homes, birds and birdhouses, animals and animal homes, house construction, houses around the world
Social & Emotional
  • Create a home for your feelings (make a journal inside, have a feelings chart inside)

You will need:

  • Office binder (preferably one with 2” rings)
  • Colored packing tape or duct tape
  • Leftover cardboard or foamcore scrap
  • Construction paper, colored paper scraps
  • Leaves and twigs for the nest
  • Ribbon to hang
  • Utility knife

 

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  1. With a utility knife, score about a third of your office binder straight across.

 

  1. Tape folded flaps together, making the “floor” of your birdhouse. The rings will be where the birds can perch!

 

 

  1. Decorate your birdhouse with colored scrap! You can use varying shapes to make different patterns…

 

  1. …or to make your own unique house!

 

  1. To make the roof of your birdhouse, fold cardboard or foamcore scrap and use paper scrap or color packing tape for added color.

 

  1. Cut about an arm’s length of ribbon and tie through the rings of the binder.

 

  1. Hang your birdhouse!

Photo Credit Hallie Bahn (26)