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Pioneer Homes for Teachers

 


Pioneer Homes

Objectives

  1. Students will compare and contrast characteristics of Indian and pioneer homes and describe their connection to the natural environment.
  2. Students will identify the progression of pioneer homes from temporary structures to log homes, sod homes and wood frame homes.
  3. Students will conduct online research and answer questions describing the type of housing that was built to match the natural environment.
  4. Students will locate log cabin and sod house frontiers on a map.


Activity Summary

  1. Students will review selected Web resources and maps about pioneer homes and complete the following prediction activity:

    • Why did Indian groups choose to build their homes from very different materials?
    • From what materials do you think Iowa pioneer settlers built their homes

    Students will record their hypothesis for each question in a notebook and check their answers online.

  2. Students will work with a partner to complete online research as part of a scavenger hunt activity. Ask students to think of at least two additional research questions. Students can number a paper or word processing document from 1 to 10 and record answers to the questions focusing on early pioneer homes.

  3. Students will draw a concept map to explain characteristics of the environment in which pioneer settlers built their homes and established pioneer farms. Students may use Inspiration software, to design their concept maps.

  4. Students will summarize their conclusions by designing a Venn diagram to compare two different styles of housing, log cabin and sod house. Class discussion can develop the concept that homes reflect the natural environment.

  5. After completing the research activity, students will explain the history of early pioneer homes by designing a poster exhibit for the local county fair, a local museum or nursing home, or students may create a Web page to showcase their investigation.


Questions

  • What kinds of pioneer homes were built where trees were abundant?
  • What types of pioneer homes were built where trees were scarce?
  • How did pioneers build a sod home?
  • How did pioneers build a log home?
  • How were log homes and sod homes similar? How were they different?
  • What were the advantages of each?
  • What sort of floor plan was typical of the sod or log house? Number of rooms, windows, doors, fireplace, bedrooms?
  • What animals sometimes joined the pioneer family as roommates?
  • (Your question)
  • (Your question


Extension Activities

Art Activity
Students may design a poster or advertisement to convince people to move West and homestead.
Using KidPix software to create their poster or poster board and magic markers.


Tips For Teachers

  • Help students to select Web sites from the Student Pioneer Library, as well as those identified for this learning activity.

  • Create-A-Venn - an interactive tool for teaching Venn diagrams and main idea may be used.

  • For some students, 8 questions may be too challenging. You might consider asking some students to answer the even numbered questions and others the odd numbered ones.

  • Many students will find this activity very motivating. Encourage students to contact a local museum or historical society about additional questions related to pioneer homes.

 

 
   
  For Teachers:
Teacher's Overview Quick Facts Pioneer Homes
Scavenger Hunt Life as a Pioneer History Detective
Mystery Photo
Pioneer Library bulletNational Standards
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