Museum Classroom: The Early Settler Home

Lesson: The Early Settler Home
Topic: Exploring how early settler homes were built
Grade: 1-3


Activity: Building your own early settler home

Curriculum Expectations:

  • Social Studies
  • Language
  • Math
  • Art

Materials Required:

  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pencil crayons, markers
  • Blank paper (draft house designs or tracing template)

Pre-Lesson: Discussion of what early settlers lived in
For this lesson you will need to print off the Building a House in Upper Canada: Fill in the blank and 3D Home template. It is optional to print off the Building a house photos.

Begin by assessing students’ comprehension of early settlers. Ask students to name key words that describe the experiences of an early settler (i.e. no cars, no electricity, simple lifestyle, etc.) Start writing down student responses of the key words on the board, easel paper or if virtual create list in the chat. To compliment the lesson, have the key words hanging on a visually accessible space in the classroom as a word wall.

Lesson
This lesson will focus on the process of building a house and characteristics of an early settler home. Provide students with the Building a House in Upper Canada Fill in the Blank handout.

  1. Download and print the Building a House in Upper Canada Fill in the Blank handout. If you cannot print, STCM recommend downloading the Adobe or Word version of the handout.

Read the handout aloud to the class and prompt students to guess the blanks using the words below in the bottom left corner of the handout under word bank. This will enhance student engagement throughout the lesson while providing the resources for them to review later as students follow along. In addition, while students listen to the teacher read aloud the Building a House in Early Canada Fill in the Blank handout by following along, this in turn will assist visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners. For each step of the building a house process, there is a series of photos to show students after they have completed the Building a House in Early Canada Fill in the Blank handout.

  1. Download the Building a house photos. If facilitating an in-class lesson, print off the photos for physical visuals. If facilitating a virtual class, have students download the photos to view and follow along.

Once students have completed the Building a House in Early Canada Fill in the Blank handout, students can begin the second half of the activity by creating their own early settler home using the 3D-Home template.

  1. Download and print the 3D House Template. If facilitating an in-class lesson, print off enough copies for each student. If facilitating a virtual class, have students download and print the 3D House Template. If you have access to Adobe or Word, digitally design your house. If you cannot print, STCM recommend using a blank piece of paper to trace a 3D Home Template.

Before construction, students can draw on the house to look like a log home that the early settlers would live in. After completing the exterior façade, students can build their homes. Students should cut along the solid lines and fold along the dotted lines. Once the cutting and folding is complete, the folded sections can be glued to make a 3D home.

**The answers for the handout are in the following order: receive, 12-18, clearing, farming, wood, flat, straight, four, measured, doors, windows, sand, one, fireplace 

Wrap up Discussion
Once students have completed building their early settler homes, as a consolidation, with students, facilitate a group conversation to compare and contrast their log home to their modern homes. If facilitating an in-class lesson, make a T-Chart or Venn diagram on the board and/or easel paper. If facilitating a virtual lesson, ask students to identify how an early settler home like the one they designed and saw in the photographs is different from their own home. This consolidation will act as a way to get students thinking about how something essential like housing has changed over the last 500 years in Canada. The comparison will also act as an excellent way for young students to conceptualize historical concepts.

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