We began this lesson by reading the book "Iggy Peck, Architect" by author Andrea Beaty and discussing what exactly an architect is and does. Then we looked at a Powerpoint I put together showing a variety of interestingly designed structures. As we view the images, the students and I discuss the interesting shapes and architectural details they see on the structures.
Then I have the students go back to their desks and give each of them a large brown paper bag (they write their name on the bottom flap). I explain to students that using construction paper crayons and scrap paper they are to design their own buildings. How they want their building to look is entirely up to them! It can be a house, an apartment, a skyscraper, a store, whatever...
At first I was a little unsure about doing this lesson with my first graders.. but I'm so happy I took the chance and did it with them! I LOVEEEEEE it!