Homes and Houses
These resources use the topic of homes to look at the different designs of homes and shelters around the world. Children test materials for suitability for making a house, design houses for different places and consider the problems that designers and engineers may have when building homes in different places around the world.
Links and Resources
This resource contains two traditional fairy tales that have been given an environmental twist. Cinderella must go to the ball with the smallest carbon footprint she can and the Three Little Pigs choose different materials to build their houses: concrete, wood and hemp. Read the stories to see how well they do. Rich with references to the special properties of a variety of materials, children might be given access to some of the materials mentioned and consider their potential for creating a ball gown for Cinderella, a vehicle for her to travel in or a palace in which she could live happily ever-after. Equally, they might find out more about the materials the Three Little Pigs choose to use, how useful they might be to build their houses, both the positive advantages and the disadvantages of each.
This resource provides a practical context to explore the uses of everyday materials, based on their properties. Children are introduced to a problem of building a flood- proof home, which is faced by families in local communities in Bangladesh, looking at solutions that have been developed to solve this problem. This leads into an investigation in which children devise different types of enquiries to find out if a local material, straw, is the best material to use or if a different material would be better.
It is a good idea to begin by familiarising children with building materials that are to be seen in your locality. You could even create a (safe) building site role play area, complete with hard hats, high visibility jackets, tools and materials that can be used for mock construction activity!
Take a walk around the local area. Ask: What materials are roofs of buildings made from? What can we see that might give us a clue? Invite a builder, surveyor, knowledgeable relative or similar in to the classroom to show children a variety of building materials and give them hands-on experience of some of the materials they might have spotted on their materials hunt. Then move on to discuss the story featured on the ppt slides. Ask: What does a new home for Mehrab and his family need to have? What should the roof be made of? This can lead into an activity where children test a variety of materials to see whether they would offer protection, stand up to high winds and withstand heavy rainfall.
This pack provides a range of activities relating homes today, in the past and in other countries. A visit to a building site is recommended as a way of beginning the study of the range of materials used in constructing a house. Activities enable students to explore the properties of different materials and the strength of different structures. Instructions for students are well illustrated by drawings and photographs.
This resource looks at the variety of materials used in buildings and how the insides of houses are kept warm and dry. It tells a story of how a modern house is surveyed before selling. It concludes with information about different kinds of houses found other parts of the world.
This activity introduces the idea of shelter and shelter deprivation around the world, highlighting the challenges people face in their daily lives when their homes do not provide adequate shelter. It linked to the curriculum areas of design and technology, geography and PSHE and promotes thinking and problem solving skills.
Children design and build a model of a flood- proof house, testing materials (for strength and absorbency) and structures. It is set on a fictitious island coping with the devastating effects of flooding caused by climate change.
Why not look at the homes of different kinds of animals in this activity to build an animal shelter for the winter which provides suggestions for the range (and types) of materials required.
Create a den at school using this STEM challenge, which links to geography and D & T. Children learn about natural disasters and how they affect people in many ways, then are challenged to plan and construct a sturdy structure.