Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas
- Small paper bags
- Soil or sand (or a sandbox), pail, shovel
- The Three Little Pigs* by James Marshall or photos of different types of buildings or animal homes (optional)
Objective: Children will use their problem-solving skills to make houses out of items they find outdoors.
In Advance: Talk with children about the homes they live in and those they may be familiar with. Ask: What is your home made of? What other things do you think can be used to build homes? If you could build a house out of any kind of material what would you choose? Why?
- Together, read The Three Little Pigs or collect and display photos of a variety of houses or animal homes from old magazines or books. Talk about the different types of buildings. How are the houses the same and different? What materials are the houses made of? What shapes are the houses?
Invite children to search the yard, playground, or other outdoor areas for items they can use to make houses such as sticks, stones, grass, weeds. Give children paper bags to place the items in.
Guide children to make mud by mixing soil or sand and water together in a pail. (Make sure it's not too watery.) Then encourage them to explore different ways to make houses, such as these:
- Tie sticks together with strings to make walls; tie the walls together; make a roof with sticks, weeds, or grass.
- Tie grass or weeds together to make walls and a roof. Then tie the walls and roof together.
- Use the mud to hold sticks together and form walls.
- Use the mud to hold rocks together and form straight or curved walls; add a roof of sticks, weeds, or grass.
- Form the mud into walls and add a roof.
Talk together about the different types of houses children made. What materials did they use? How did they use them? What shapes are their houses? Invite children to compare the houses they created with those in the book or photos.
For younger children: Give children plenty of time to create mud houses. They may or may not want to add the sticks, rocks, and other objects to their dwellings.
For older children: Invite children to create a village. They can paint a large piece of cardboard and then place the house they made on it.
TIP: If possible, do the activity near a sandbox and a water source. Otherwise, provide a bag of soil or sand and a bucket of water.
House and Homes by Ann Morris
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas