How to Make a Longhouse For a School Project

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In the northeastern United States, longhouses were the dominant type of home among Native Americans. These houses were built from tree trunks lashed together and then covered with slabs of tree bark. The houses measured as much as 20 feet high, 20 feet wide and 50 to 150 feet long. While up to 60 people lived in these early apartment houses, each family had its own living area. Mats and screens divided the longhouse into smaller rooms, and many areas even included second floor platforms that provided additional sleeping areas.

How to Make a Longhouse For a School Project
(Taran Rai/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Tape
  • Cylindrical oatmeal container with its lid
  • Scissors
  • Shoebox about the same size as the oatmeal container
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue
  • Brown crepe paper torn into random strips and squares
Step 1

Tape the lid to the cylindrical oatmeal container, and then cut the container in half lengthwise. Keep one half to serve as the roof of your longhouse and set the second half aside for another project.

Cut oatmeal container in half.
Taran Rai/Demand Media
Step 2

Cut three one-inch holes in the top of the oatmeal container roof to serve as smoke holes.

Cut holes in the roof.
Taran Rai/Demand Media
Step 3

Glue the oatmeal container roof to the shoe box. Now you have the basic structure of the longhouse.

Glue oatmeal container to shoe box.
Taran Rai/Demand Media
Step 4

Cut a hole in one end of the shoebox to serve as a door.

Cut out a hole for a door.
Taran Rai/Demand Media
Step 5

Use the paintbrush to spread glue all over the longhouse. Glue on the strips and squares of brown crepe paper, overlapping and scrunching the pieces to resemble tree bark. Your longhouse model is done.

Glue crepe paper to longhouse model.
Taran Rai/Demand Media

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