Rita the Remodel Girl: A Summer Project Begins

Rita the Remodel Girl: A Summer Project Begins, by Kathy Guyitt


Rita is a little girl with big dreams, who learns about remodeling houses from her mom, Connie. Connie is a general contractor, and she teaches Rita that remodeling a house requires teamwork and lots of effort and skills. This book takes the reader through the first stages of remodeling, such as meeting with the client, problem solving to meet the client’s specific needs, reading blueprints, and working with a team of specialists, such as an interior designer, electrician, plumber, architect and framers. It includes blueprints and before and after photos, and a remodeling project prompt at the end so readers can try their hand at redesigning their own bedroom. I love all of the STEM connections in this book, and think it would be a great addition to a math unit on measurements and drawing to scale (this is a Common Core math standard for 4th grade specifically). You can also use it in a community helpers or careers unit!

There are a lot of Tier 3 (subject-specific) vocabulary terms in this book, but the author makes sure to explain each one in kid-friendly language. I’d recommend reading it with kids aged 8 and up, but I’m sure younger kids could enjoy it if they have a little bit of background knowledge. Stay tuned for books 2 and 3 in the series, as the remodeling process continues!

Discussion Questions:

1. What is the difference between building a house and remodeling a house?
2. Why would a homeowner hire someone to remodel their house?
3. Why do you think the remodelers need to know where the electrical and plumbing lines are?
4. What are some changes that Connie wants to make to Hank and Harriet’s house? Look at the Before/After photos.
5. Why do Hank and Harriet want to change their kitchen?
6. What is demolition? What are some demo materials that can be recycled?

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