- Easier - A shelter
is a place that covers, protects, and provides
safety. People need shelters to shield them from
extremes of cold and heat, as well as from rain,
snow, and wind.
- Harder - A human
shelter is a structure or a natural feature that
provides protection against bad weather, danger, or
insect pests. The first shelters made by human
beings were made of animal hides, stones, straw,
vines, or wood. Today, we construct our shelters
from a wide variety of materials such as wood and
brick, steel and concrete, aluminum, glass, and
plastic. The types of shelters people erect depend
mainly on the climate, the materials that are
available, and their intended use.
- Houses are the most common shelter for people,
but there are many other different kinds. Others
include bus shelters, bomb shelters, band shells,
and treehouses. Portable shelters include tents,
trailers, houseboats, motor yachts, and even
motorhomes. Other shelters like barns and sheds are
built to cover and protect things besides
- This site briefly describes native American
dwellings: the longhouse; log, pole and bark
houses; teepees and wigwams. Another site with
information on a different longhouse can be found
Oregon Winter Dwellings.
for the Next Millennium
- Explore how we might live in the next one
hundred years. House Beautiful invited ten
architectural firms to design a house for the
future.There are several pages (sites).
On the Western Frontier
- Learn about sod houses and barns, dugouts, and
log and timber-framed buildings.
- Learn more about man's history of seeking
protection from the elements and predators. Site
describes the transition of early humans from using
shelter to creating shelter.
- After visiting some of the 'shelters'
sites below, complete one of these
- Make a Shelter Model. Pick a
historical era and location. Research the
shelters that were used in that time
period. Make a model of a typical shelter
used in that time. Display it at your
- Plan for an Emergency
Pretend that you are 'caught'
afoot, out in the wilderness, and it
begins to get dark. The temperature is
dropping, bad weather is threatening, and
there is no cabin around. What would you
do to survive the night? List your plan
for seeking shelter. Then compare your
recommendations to those found for shelter
Kid's Wilderness Survival Primer.
- Design A Shelter for the
Future. After studying the history of
shelters at Stone
Age Habitats, Dwellings,
On the Western Frontier, and other
sites, design a shelter for the next
millennium. Make a drawing, floor plan,
and/or a model of your design. Compare it
with some of the designs at Houses
for the Next Millennium.
- Build a Fantasy Dwelling. Look
at some alternate housing ideas such as
those at Geodesic
Domes: Structures and Homes, Shelter
Building School, Cordwood
Building, and Treehouse
Workshop. Then using ideas from these
websites or creating something entirely
original, design your own nontraditional
dwelling. Make a drawing or model of your
- Complete Some Materials
Calculations. Builders, contractors,
engineers, architects, and designers deal
with computing how much material is needed
for various projects and constructions.
Try your hand at completing the
calculations at Materials
for Building (PBS Mathline).
- Website For Kids By Kids
Energy Efficient Home (ThinkQuest)
- On this page you'll learn the different types
of materials that go into building a house, and how
they compare on energy efficiency. Design your own
house and compute the dollars saved per year!
Ruins of the Southwest
- This site contains information about ancient
Indian ruins in the southwest states (Colorado,
Utah, Arizona, New Mexico). Included are the
Anasazia, the Mogollon, Hohokam, Sinagua, and
Salado who occupied nearby regions during much of
the same time. And after they all disappeared, the
early Pueblo peoples (thought to be descendants of
the Anasazi and Hohokam) also built pueblos and
- Look at designs for portable dome shelters,
greenhouses, yurts, energy shelters, tarps and
Domes: Structures and Homes
- This site provides information and links about
the construction of geodesic dome houses.
- This site provides information and a picture
about the Australian aboriginal 'humpy'
- Learn about a company that specializes in
treehouse design and construction.
- Related Website:
- 2) Treehouses by Patrick Fulton http://www.btinternet.com/~fulton/treehous.htm
- Here you can find information about cordwood
masonry and earth-sheltered housing - alternative
of the Future
- Automated homes of the future.
- Why should I build an Earth-sheltered
- Teacher Sites
and Places (ArtsEdNet)
- Website has a lesson (4th grade) planned to
help students understand that a dwelling reflects
the physical and psychological needs of its
inhabitants. Further, they will become aware that
geography and environmental location influence
a House (Lesson Plan at School to
- This lesson covers the sequence of constructing
a building, standard construction names for
materials in the home, and different materials that
are used in building.
- Created by
Johnson, 1/99 &
Updated, 4/00. Updated by Nancy