Welcome to the American Institute of Architects (“AIA”) Michigan/Michigan Architecture Foundation (“MAF”) Curriculum Guide for the elementary grades. We invite you to participate in “Architecture: It’s Elementary!” Supported by local architects and through a multidisciplinary architectural curriculum, children will gain appreciation of their built environment and the buildings, towns and cities that make it up.


This Web-based guidebook for teachers includes ten lesson plans for each elementary school year, from kindergarten through grade five. The curriculum introduces children to the study of architecture and the built environment, encompassing art, social studies, language arts, history, science and math. These lessons engage children’s bodies, minds, and imaginations to explore how buildings and cities are designed and built. Lessons appeal to the various learning styles of children as they look, explore, think and design. In considering how to create functional, safe and appealing environments, children develop skills of observation, reasoning and critical thinking. These tools will develop within them an appreciation and respect for the built environment.


The Lessons:

The lessons combine individual and group activities. Within each lesson, Michigan core curriculum standards are noted, and a vocabulary and illustrations are provided. References to basic architectural principles are listed. Lessons can be adapted to your school’s needs and interests, and your input and insights are encouraged to refine and improve the curriculum guide.


AIA Michigan architects are here to support you, answer your questions and provide personal assistance as needed. Local architects from your community have volunteered to be of help.


If you need assistance, please call AIA Michigan at (313) 965-4100 and ask for the name and phone number for the current statewide elementary curriculum liaison. Thank you for your participation!


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