Early settlers' houses



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Doing History/Keeping the Past

Inquiry Activities



EARLY SETTLERS' HOUSES

Cynthia Stout, Instructional Services, Jefferson County School, and

Sandra Stokely, Ellis Elementary School, Denver

OVERVIEW

Students will investigate and compare early houses in different regions in Colorado.



STANDARDS





  • History Standard 2.2 Students know how to interpret and evaluate primary and secondary sources of information.




  • Geography Standard 2.2: Students know how and why people define regions.


OBJECTIVES

After completing this activity, students will be able to:



  • Describe different kinds of building materials available to Colorado's early settlers.

  • Identify regional differences in available building materials.

  • Express values and opinions about the importance of historic preservation.



INQUIRY QUESTIONS





  • What kinds of materials did early settlers in Colorado use to build their houses?

  • Why did people in different places use different kinds of materials to build their houses?

  • What size were the houses built by the early settlers?

  • Do houses built by early settlers still remain in your community?

  • If so, what materials were these houses made of and what size were they?



PROCEDURE

MATERIALS





  1. CD-ROM/Internet Use: The seven photos of houses in the Shelters sequence of the Farming/Ranching topic will be used by the whole class and by small groups of students.

  2. Show the students the above photos on a multimedia projector or as transparencies on an overhead.

  3. Discuss the location of and building materials used for each house.

  4. Divide students into small groups to decide why setters in different places used different kinds of building materials. Make one or more copies of the CD-ROM disk available in the classroom to allow students to inspect the photos close-up.

  5. Have students report and discuss their conclusions. Make sure they include locational, geographic, and cultural variables.

SIZE




  1. CD-ROM/Internet Use: The seven photos of houses in the Shelters sequence of the Farming/Ranching topic will be used by the whole class and by small groups of students.

  2. Show the students the above photos on a multimedia projector or as transparencies on an overhead.

  3. Discuss the size of these houses. Estimate the square feet and number of rooms in each house.

  4. Compare the size of these houses with the students' homes.

  5. Discuss why early settler's houses were much smaller than houses today.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION





  1. CD-ROM/Internet Use: None.

  2. Find out if any of your local historic sites includes a preserved log cabin, sod house, or adobe house.

  3. If so, take the students to visit the site or bring a video of the structure to class.

  4. Discuss the value of early houses as historical evidence about how people lived in other times.

  5. Discuss what house types we might preserve to let people a century from now understand what our lives are like.




05/14/2016

This activity was created with funding from the Colorado State Historical Fund.





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