Third Grade ◆ Lesson Four
Use drawings of structures as visual aids in A-D.
Describe how the geography and climate of a region determine what local building materials and locations are available for a house:
Arctic regions – snow and ice (igloos)
Rainforest regions – vines, leaves, trees, etc.
Desert regions – Adobe, clay (bricks)
Deciduous forest regions – lumber
Mountains – caves, stone
Help the students discover why housing materials change in different climates. Ask why people in Alaska used ice to build their homes in the past. What has changed that allows people in Alaska to use brick and other materials to build their homes today? How has modern truck, ship, air and rail transportation made materials available where they were formerly unavailable? Today, we are returning to the use of materials which are manufactured locally to reduce the environmental impact which results from transporting materials long distances.
Guide students to identify specific materials used because of geological and environmental factors in the region:
Example: baked earth hardened in the hot desert sun. In some areas, this concept has been expanded to the process of oven-baking natural clay found in the ground to make bricks;
Example: concrete made from sand, cement, lime, water and stones. This strong building product was first developed and used by the ancient Romans;
Example: stones, including sandstone and limestone. Stone, marble and granite are quarried in many regions and have been used since ancient times. Marble was used for most of the Greek temples. Limestone is found in many areas (in the U.S., particularly in Indiana).
Example: wood has been the most popular building material because of its availability and ease of working with. The first prehistoric structures were made of wood.
Discuss specific use of materials due to cultural or symbolic reasons:
Decorated lightweight fabrics or animal skins for nomadic tribes (easily transported);
Stone, marble and granite have strength and permanence (government buildings, temples and churches).