- Students will compare and contrast characteristics of Indian and pioneer
homes and describe their connection to the natural environment.
- Students will identify the progression of pioneer homes from temporary
structures to log homes, sod homes and wood frame homes.
- Students will conduct online research and answer questions describing
the type of housing that was built to match the natural environment.
- Students will locate log cabin and sod house frontiers on a map.
- Students will review selected Web
resources and maps about pioneer homes and complete the following
- Why did Indian groups choose to build their homes from very different
- From what materials do you think Iowa pioneer settlers built their
Students will record their hypothesis for each question in a notebook
and check their answers online.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- an interactive tool for teaching Venn diagrams and main idea may be
- 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.