Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Native American Dwellings

This Friday is Native American  Day.  

We're celebrating all week, highlighting a different aspect of Native American culture each day.

Today we talked about the many different kinds of homes Native Americans built, and made 3 different models.

First up was a wattle and daub.  That was a new one for me.  They were basically wood framed, filled in with mud, and covered with a grass roof.  Need a wattle and daub dwelling of your own?

Start with drink cartons, opened up, and the bottoms cut out.  It would be a good idea to go ahead and cut a door at this point.  We forgot and had to do ours later.

One can't make a mud house with no mud, so go ahead, get messy:

While your mud-coated carton dries in the sun, cut a circle from construction paper.  Cut out one-quarter of it, and tape it shut in a cone shape.
Snip upward into the cone to produce a grass fringe.

Once the mud has dried set cone on top for the roof.  A person could glue dried grass on at this point for a more authentic look, but this person had already done mud and didn't want to go hunting up grass.  Attach the roof to the carton with tape on the inside of both.
One option is to make a smaller cone or two for a layered roof.
Dale was loving his Indian dwellings and decided they needed a dweller:

Second Type:
We went for a good ol' stereo-typical, traditional tee-pee.  

A fun story to read about teepees is included in this bookZeb, the Cows on the Roof Again!
The story is about a 12 year old girl that accidently destroys her family's teepee and must replace it on her own.  The author walks you through the entire process, through the eyes of a child.

We cheated and skipped the entire pole portion of a teepee.  We're a young 'class' and I figure we have years ahead of us for more realistic models.

If you're a cheater like us, then this project's for you. 

Trace a circle on a piece of construction paper.

Fold in half and crease.

Fold in half again, creasing just the point, to mark the center of the circle.

Unfold.  Draw a line down the center of the circle, about a 1/4 inch to one side of the fold.  Just before the center point, slant across diagonally to finish the line 1/4 inch on the other side of the fold.  Eyeball it, it doesn't have to be perfect.

Cut apart on the line you just drew.
(Yeah, this one's yellow.  We made a whole village.)

Decorate the tee-pee.  We talked about tee-pees often telling stories of great hunts or great battles.  Once the decor is done, swipe a glue stick down the top half of the tab: the area shaded in pencil here:

Roll up into a cone shape and press the glued tab to the inside of the cone.  Fold the overlapping piece up for a door.

And finally, an igloo.  Of sorts.

One apple.  Peanut butter.  Marshmallows.

You can go here to see a much better example of how it is 'supposed' to look and see where I got the idea.


Elisabeth said...

Cute ideas. I like the unit study approach for young children. I think it helps to make what they're learning to really stick.


Wendi said...

I really like how you are incorporating holidays and special days {like Native American Day} into your school plans. It looks like your kiddos are having lots of fun!

Kristin said...

Dale looks so old in that last picture! He needs to stop growing so fast!!!