Three Little Pigs

Integrated Engineering Lesson

Grade 3

Students learn about the importance of using the right materials for the job by building 3 different sand castles and testing them for strength and resistance to weather.

Learning Objectives and Standards

  • SWBAT- Explain that combining different materials is necessary when using rocks, soils and minerals for construction.
  • Explain how engineers need to consider material properties of rocks, soils and minerals when creating something new.

  • Standards
  • NGSS- Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Ask- What is the problem?

Why didn't the pigs structures stand?

How can we make a structure or object more sturdy?

What materials do engineers need?

Gather Information- What has been done to solve the problem? What science concepts are in effect here?

What do you think engineers do to make structures more stable? Ex. Are airplanes made of wood? Why not?

Things to consider:

Weight, Resilience, Strength, Appearance, etc.

Imagine-Constraints and Criteria? What ideas can solve the problem?

Brainstorm ideas with the children on how we can come up with more stable structures for the pigs. What can we use, how should we make them?

Plan- Select a design and gather materials.

Students will come up with a plan to create three different sand castles using sand, glue and water.

Cup 1- 1tsp of glue, 6sp of water and sand.

Cup 2-4 tsp of glue, 4 tsp of water and sand.

Cup 3- no glue, 6tsp of water and sand.

Create- Make a prototype and test it.

Students will create their sandcastles and conduct a series of weather condition tests to see which ones are able to withstand the trials.

  • Pouring water over it (rain)
  • Setting heavy objects on top
  • Blowing with fans
  • Etc.


What worked? What didn't?

Have the students work in groups of 4 to create a new, more resilient structure using the same or different materials. Once their prototypes are created have them re-do the tests.


Whose prototypes were successful?

What did they do?

How did they do it?

What other things could work?