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The Gordon House is now open for Spring/Summer hours!
We thank you for your patience and continued support, and are happy to welcome you back!

Today at the Gordon House
Today at the Gordon House

December 6, 2021
  • Gordon House Closed

    December 6, 2021  12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Learning with Architecture

Looking to inspire a student at home? We have Gordon House coloring and activity sheets! Share pictures of your creations and tag @the_gordon_house on Instagram or @theGordonHouse on Facebook for a chance to be featured on our profile.

More Architecture Resources for Students at Home:

Have a resource you’d like to see listed here? Let us know! Contact

Ready for a Challenge?

Flex your knowledge of Oregon Historic Properties with our crossword puzzle competition. You’ve got answers, we’ve got prizes. For a chance to win, send your completed crossword to

Download the Crossword PDF

Butte Creek Field Trip

Virtual Tours of the Gordon House

Our doors are open to educators for creating meaningful teaching & learning experiences. Contact us for more information about filming or streaming a live tour of the Gordon House.


  • Appropriate for Grades 3-Post-graduate
  • Adapted to your curriculum goals
  • Guided by Gordon House staff and volunteers
  • $3 per student K-12, $5 per college student
  • One adult required for every ten students K-12
  • One free professor admission for every 10 students
  • $10 per additional adult

Teach your own class

Use Gordon House as the setting to teach your own class.  The site is a learning laboratory that can support and enhance lessons in math, art, design, science, history, social studies, and more. 

  • $3 per student K-12, $5 per college student
  • One adult per ten students K-12, free
  • One adult required per every ten students K-12
  • One free professor admission for every 10 students
  • $10 per additional adult

Faculty Meetings and Inservice

Have your faculty meeting at Gordon House.

  • Tour provided prior to the start of the meeting upon request; free
  • Learn about Gordon House Resources for Educators before and after your meeting

Visit the Gordon House Resource Center

View materials available for classroom use. Play. Be inspired.

Salem/Keizer Construction Class Field Trip

CTEC Students Start the School Year Wright.

In early September, the Gordon House hosted 90 high school juniors and seniors studying at SalemKeizer School District’s Construction and Technical Education Center (CTEC). By the end of the school year, these students will complete the construction of a house. So, to start the school year, they were challenged by their teacher Alex Olson to think about the psychology of a house. To jump-start their thinking, they visited the Gordon House to learn how Frank Lloyd Wright approached home design.

Divided into small groups and led by Gordon House docents, students learned how the exterior, the interior spaces, the floor plan, and design details express Wright’s organic philosophy of architecture. Additionally, they had time to think and work individually, sketching the house and its details and responding to questions about the house in a packet provided by their teacher.  They also enjoyed a picnic lunch in the sunshine on the Gordon House lawn.

Staff at the Gordon House enjoyed working with teacher Alex Olsen to tailor experiences to meet his learning objectives for his students.  And it was a pleasure to observe students engaging with the architecture of the house and thinking about house design in new ways.

To discuss how the Gordon House can provide experiences that address the learning goals for students in grades 3 and above, call 503.874.6006 or email

For more information about CTEC:

Gordon House Educator Resource Center

The following materials are available to educators on loan and free of charge.

Traveling Architecture Trunk Grades 3-5

  • Read The Wright 3, a mystery set in Chicago at the Robie House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Learn with pentominoes, used to solve The Wright 3 mystery.
  • Read Frank Lloyd Wright and his New American Architecture.
  • Curriculum guides for The Wright 3 and Pentominoes are provided. All materials are stored in a sturdy, rolling case easily transported to your classroom.
  • Available free of charge.

Wright wrote in his Autobiography, “For several years I sat at the little Kindergarten table-top . . . and played . . . with the cube, the sphere, and the triangle. . . These primary forms and figures were the secret of all effects . . . which were ever got into the architecture of the world . . . these smooth wooden maple blocks . . . All are in my fingers to this day.”

Froebel Gifts

The Froebel Gifts are a set of educational materials designed in the mid-19th century by Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), a German educator who founded the kindergarten movement. The Gifts are one component of a developmental system of learning through play that Froebel created for children.  

When Frank Lloyd Wright was nine years old, his mother Anna presented him with a set of Froebel Gifts. Through play and learning with the Gifts, Wright developed his understanding of geometry and his gift of design. The Froebel Gifts proved to be one of the most important influences in Wright’s development as one of the world’s greatest architects.

Available on loan to educators to use with their students are sets of Gifts 3, 5, and 6.  Also available are the definitive guides to Froebel methods, The Kindergarten Guide: Volume One: The Gifts and The Kindergarten Guide: Volume Two: The Occupations by Maria Kraus-Boelte & John Kraus.  

Educators of children preschool through third grade will find the book Blocks and Beyond by Mary Jo Pollman helpful in integrating spatial learning into their curriculum using Froebel and other materials. This book is also available on loan from the Gordon House.

Links to other Froebel resources:
Overview of Froebel Gifts and Resource Lists
Froebel Conferences

Other Interactive Materials Available

The following materials are available to educators on loan:

  • Nature Pattern Blocks, The Frank Lloyd Wright Collection. Includes laminated activity sheets.
  • The Prairie House Block Set, The Frank Lloyd Wright Collection.
  • Interactive Timeline of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Life Span Includes: 16 metal stands that can be arranged chronologically to represent Wright’s life span and 6 boxes of significant events mounted on magnets that can be affixed to the stands: World Events, US Events, The Arts, Science & Technology, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gordon House
  • Gordon House Coloring Sheet Click on the link above for a printable copy.
  • Gordon House Activity Sheet Click on the link above for a printable copy.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Finger Puppet

Books for Children

The following books are available on loan for classroom use.  The ages are only suggestions.

  • 50 Architects You Should Know   Isabel Kuhl, Kristina Lowis, & Sabine Thiel-Siling, 2008.  Ages 11-adult.
  • 13 Buildings Children Should Know, Annette Roeder, 2009.  Ages 9-12.
  • A Children’s Book of Houses and Homes, Carol Bowyer, 1990.  Ages 9-12.
  • American House Styles, William Morgan.
  • An Architectural Alphabet, The Library of Congress, 2000.  Ages 9-12.
  • Architects Make Zigzags, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1986.  Ages 4-8.
  • Archi-Doodle: An Architect’s Activity Book, Steve Bowkett, 2013.
  • The Aspiring Architect; An Activity Book for Kids, A Visual Dictionary of Architecture, Francis D.K. Ching, 1996.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright and His New American Architecture, Bob Kann, 2010.  Ages 9-12. (Also available for purchase at Gordon House.)
  • Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids, Kathleen Thorne-Thomsen, 1994. Ages 8+.
  • From Mud Huts to Skyscrapers, Christine Paxmann & Anne Ibelings, 2012.  Ages 8-12+.
  • How a House is Built, Gail Gibbons, 1990.  Ages 5+.
  • If You Lived Here: Houses of the World, Giles Laroche, 2011.  Ages 8-10.
  • Iggy Peck, Architect, Andrea Beaty, 2007.  Ages 4-8.
  • Roberto the Insect Architect, Nina Laden, 2000.  Ages 3-8.
  • Simply Wright, Diane Bresnan Fleming, 2004.  Ages 6-12.
  • The Story of Buildings, Patrick Dillon & Stephen Biesty, 2014.  Ages 8-adult.
  • Under Every Roof, A Kid’s Guide to the Architecture of American Houses, Patricia Brown Glenn, 1993.  Ages 9-12.
  • The Wright 3, Blue Balliett, 2007.  Ages 8-11.  (Also available for purchase at Gordon House.)

The Art of Construction by Mario Salvadori
Classroom set of books available on loan, free of charge.


1. From Cave to Skyscraper
2. Building a Tent
3. What is a Bean?
4. What Do We Build Structures With?
5. The Floor of Your Room
6. A Steel Frame
7. Park of a Building You Don’t See
8. What Tornadoes, Earthquakes and Temperature Can Do
9. How to Fight Tornadoes and Earthquakes
10. Ropes and Cables
11. Sticks and Stones
12. Strings and Sticks
13. Shape and Strength
14. Barrels, Dishes, Butterflies, Bicycle Wheels and Eggs
15. Balloons. . . and Back to the Tent

Curriculum Materials in Gordon House Resource Center

The following materials are available to educators on loan:

A Plan for Teaching About Architecture  (Lessons, Grades 6-12)
Art of Bridge Construction  (Lessons and Handouts, Grades 7-12)
A Special Structure for a Special Client (Lesson and Handouts, Grades 3+)
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Windows (Lessons and Handouts, Grade 5)
Higher and Higher: Amazing Skyscrapers (Lesson, Grades 6-8)
Introducing Architecture (Activities and Handouts, Grades 4-7)
Teaching with Pentominos (Lessons, Grades 2-5)
Visual Survey Form (Handout, Grades 4+)

Links to Curriculum Guides and Other Resources for Educators
A Plan for Teaching About Architecture, Grades 6-12
Architecture: It’s Elementary Curriculum (PDF), Grades K-5
Center for the Understanding of the Built Environment
Introducing Architecture, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. Grades 4-6.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Windows, Chicago Architecture Foundation, 2002. Grade 5.
Salvadori Center
Teaching with Pentominos, Karen Carlson. Grades 2-5.

Supported generously by:

Safeway Foundation
Marion County Cultural Trust
Marion Soil & Water Conservation District
Individual Donors

The Gordon House Conservancy Education Committee gratefully acknowledges the generous financial support of the Safeway Foundation, the Marion County Cultural Trust, the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District, and individual donors. 

With your support, we have established an Education Resource Center at Gordon House filled with books, interactive materials for students, and curriculum guides for educators.  We have also created a Traveling Architecture Trunk.  All of these materials are available to educators and their students on loan free of charge.  In addition, we can offer a few transportation stipends to support field trips to Gordon House.

Thank you for making it possible for us to engage students with learning about architecture at Gordon House, for helping to nurture continued appreciation and care of our historic home, and for enriching the general education of our youth in and out of the classroom.