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Level: Primary
Grades: K-2 | Age: 5-8 | Written by: Lillian Foxx
[Lillian is a student from Winona, MN.]

Students will make log cabin pictures out of construction paper.

What You Need:
What You Do:
Introduction: This idea occurred to me while doing a Unit on Long Ago and Today. Many of my students were interested in what their houses would have looked like long ago. We read Laura Ingall's books and other books describing life long ago, and we were able to use those illustrations as models for our project.

  1. Choose a color of paper for the background of the log cabin, be it blue for the sky, plain white, etc.

  2. Have students choose brown scraps from your scrap box, or use brown construction paper. This will be the material for the "logs" of the house. Discussion point: There can be many different browns because not all trees are the same color, and different trees may have been used to build one log cabin.

  3. Children should cut the scraps into strips about as long and as wide as their finger. Show an example of a good size strip (.5 inches wide to 3 inches long) as some children with may have very small hands, and their strips will be too thin and take too long to compile.

  4. In my class we discussed how a log cabin is built by laying one log (brown paper strip) on another, leaving room for windows and doors (children may want to pencil these in). Not all the logs fit together smoothly, so it is OK if not all the strips fit together smoothly. Just fill the spaces in with mud (color in between the spaces with black) crayon.

  5. Children should cut strips and paste onto the paper, leaving room for windows and doors. They complete the cabin with the roof, which consists of diagonally placed strips.

  6. Green scraps may be used to represent trees, bushes, etc.

Notes: This project took us about three days, or nearly two hours to complete. To expedite the process, you can pre-cut brown strips or have the children cut bigger strips. It is also fun to allow children to design the inside of the house as well. If continuing this project over several days, I found it handy to use envelopes to keep the children's strips together. Children put their names on the envelopes and paper-clipped them to their paper. I used this in a 1-2 grade multi-age classroom with great success. It can easily be modified for lower or higher grades.

Good luck and have fun!

Recommended Books/Products:
Little House Books
by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Garth Williams
This box set includes the following titles: Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, Farmer Boy On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, The First Four Years

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