Longhouses were houses build by Native Americans. Reaching lengths of up to 100 feet, longhouses were used to shelter large families or even several families. Often associated with the Iroquois, longhouses are rectangular-shaped and generally had doors at both ends. When learning about Native American cultures it can help to engage in arts and crafts projects to give children a physical sense of the living quarters of these people. Building longhouses out of Popsicle sticks is a great activity that both engages students' hands and minds.
Things You'll Need
- Popsicle sticks
- Brown paint
- Brown construction paper
Glue three Popsicle sticks together from end-to-end to make a single long stick. Slightly overlap the edges of the sticks to help them stick together better. Repeat this procedure once more and allow both sets of sticks to dry. These sticks will become the long walls of the longhouse.
Glue three Popsicle sticks standing straight up on one of the long sticks from Step 1, one stick at each end and one in the middle. Hold the sticks in a perpendicular position to the long sticks and add glue. Continue holding them in place for several minutes until they've begun to dry. Repeat this process with the second long stick from Step 1. Let the glue dry.
Start building the longhouse wall by laying sticks parallel to the long stick. Glue the ends of each Popsicle stick the to vertical end stick and vertical middle stick from Step 2.
Continue gluing the Popsicle sticks in place until the entire frame of the longhouse is built. Repeat this procedure on the other side wall.
Paint the longhouse walls brown once the glue has sufficiently dried. Let the paint dry.
Using the short edge of the longhouse wall as a guide, cut out a square of cardboard, which will become the front wall and door of the longhouse. Cut a door along the bottom of the cardboard. Repeat this procedure to make another wall and door to be used on the backside of the longhouse.
Glue the cardboard walls to the long walls by placing glue along the cardboard side edges and pressing the longhouse walls against the glue. Your longhouse should now have all four walls in place. Let the glue dry well.
Cut out a piece of construction paper to fit over the top of the longhouse. Leave an extra 1/2-inch on the long sides of the paper so it can be domed when attached to the longhouse. Slightly roll the paper to make it more bendable and then glue the edges of the paper to the top of the long walls. Your Popsicle stick longhouse is now complete.
Tips & Warnings
- Mount your longhouse on a piece of cardboard or other hard, flat, mobile surface to make it easier to move. The mounting board can then be decorated to represent landscape, like a diorama.
- Photo Credit two boys with popsicles image by sonya etchison from Fotolia.com