Around the House


1. To create an understanding of the financial responsibilities associated with setting up and running a household

2. To promote creativity in cost-cutting throughout the home

Subject Area

English Language Arts (K-12), Math (4-6, 9), Social Studies (4)


Introduce money management as it pertains to costs around the house with the following discussion points:

  • What are the costs associated with the setup of a house?
  • What are the costs associated with running a house?
  • Discuss the idea of a house as a money pit. Do students agree/disagree?
  • Suggest some savings tips that might be associated with a house.
  • Discuss a few different rooms in the house and costs associated with those specific rooms (i.e. the cost of buying a TV in the rec room, the cost of cable and the electricity used to run the TV).


Shrink a Space

Length: 3 hours
Materials: Shrink a Space Handout, shoe-sized box, store catalogues, art supplies for diorama, computer for research (optional)

  • In this activity, students will be required to research the costs associated with starting and running one of the following rooms: kitchen, living room, computer room (office), bathroom, bedroom, laundry room and recreation room (TV room). Students will also get to build a diorama (model in a box) of that room that outlines specific costs associated with the space.
  • To begin the activity, have students fill out the Shrink a Space Handout, which will direct them in recording the setup and running costs of each particular room.
  • Once the handout is complete, students will build a diorama representing their respective room and its associated costs. Dioramas may then be presented to the class and assembled to create an entire house.


  • Encourage students to walk through their own room at home and list the setup and running costs. How might savings be realized?

Collaborative Feedback

  • What were some of the surprise costs associated with each room?
  • Compile a list of savings tips discovered by the students who built each room.

Teacher Tips

  • This activity can be turned into a green initiative by promoting environmental cost savers around the house. The fully-assembled diorama can be displayed in the school so everyone can learn from it.

Pre- and Post-Assessment of Lesson

  • What do you know about the cost of operating a home?
  • What did you learn about the cost of operating a home?