several times above at smaller scale.
The 5th graders hadn't done any 3D design, so this was their introduction to using a good intro level tool Tinkercad. My approach to teaching them was to walk them through building the base and showing them how to duplicate it and scale it down for the next layer. Here are the steps I showed them:
|2. Make one door using any shape, turned into a hole, rotated into position.|
|4. Select the base parts and group them. Add another shape with the same number of sides, lower its height, raise it on top of the base, and make it wider than the base (hold shift and drag).|
|5. Before grouping the base and its roof, select both and align them by clicking Adjust > Align, then click the mid-point dots of the two sides. Many of my students needed help remembering this step later on.|
|6. To make the next levels, select the first, duplicate it, raise it up (make sure it is still touching the 1st level), then scale it down, holding shift. Again, duplicate the second one and it will scale and raise up just like the first! More magic!|
For printing I found a couple tips helpful. I told them it would be easier to print them if they didn't make roofs. With roofs they had to be printed on their sides, or else the supports were impossible to remove.
What I loved about the project is even though they were taught to follow specific design patterns their pagodas represented a great diversity of ideas. The constraints didn't limit their imaginations, but gave them skills and confidence to explore their ideas. Their history teacher organized a pagoda museum event and had them draw backdrops for them on large index cards, which the class enjoyed immensely.