Natural Materials for Native Homes

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Leaves, twigs and moss were scattered on the tables at Winthrop Avenue as fourth-grade students participated in the Longhouse and Wigwam Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics Challenge. Combined with supplies provided by teachers, students were instructed to design and build either a wigwam or longhouse using STEAM principles. The project was a continuation of their studies of Native Americans, specifically the Iroquois and Algonquin peoples and the engineering principles employed in their Native American homes.  

Divided into groups, the students were instructed to first decide which Native American home to build, to plan how it should look and to draw and label the structure on paper. Using craft sticks, cardboard base, brown paper bags, tape, scissors and glue, the students combined their materials from outdoors to craft an accurate structure. 

Not only did the activity employ STEAM principles, students also honed collaboration, teamwork and decision-making skills to complete their structures.