Does Everyone Sit on a Couch?

  • Time Length
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    1-2 hours

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

  • Cost

    Materials or Fees

  • Difficulty
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Question and Wonder:

  • Where did couches come from?
  • Why do we use furniture?
  • I wonder if all furniture is the same…
  • Does everyone sit on a couch? Why do you think that? How can you find out?

Walk around your house and examine the different pieces of furniture. Sit on them, use them, think about them.

Imagine and Design:

  • What pieces of furniture are in your living or great room? Why those?
  • Do you have a favorite place to sit? Why is it your favorite?
  • Why are beds designed that way?
  • Are some pieces of furniture designed just to be comfortable? Useful? How?

Talk to your family members and friends. Ask them about the furniture in the houses they live and grew up in. Do you know anyone from another country? Ask them about the furniture in that country. Get on the internet or go to a library and find pictures of homes in different parts of the world.

Test and Discuss:

  • What did you discover about furniture?
  • Do homes look the same all over the world? How are they the same? Different? Why?
  • If you were to design the perfect couch, what would it look like?
  • What do you think about furniture? What does it tell you about the lives of the people that use it?

Gather materials to design the perfect couch. Imagine how you would sit on it. Is it comfortable? Functional? Both? Take a picture of your creation and share it with family and friends. Ask them about their perfect couch.

Extension activity:

How would furniture change if our bodies were different? For example, if we had four legs instead of two or our knees bent the other way how would that change a chair? How would you design a couch for a dog? An elephant? A butterfly?

Did You Know:

Houses in Japan have little furniture. They believe in simplicity and most people sit on mats on the floor – no couches. Culture play a large role in the design of furniture in houses around the world. For a glimpse into the lives of children in other countries, follow the link below.


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