Thursday, November 4, 2010

Newspaper Wigwam


Okay, just for the record, this is not at all the proper way to build a wigwam. But, it is a good way to engage your children in a discussion of how they are built (and who lived in them). Here's a link to a cute, animated video instruction. And, here's one for instructions on building a scaled down model, for school aged children.

We, however, wanted something bigger. And, lacking young saplings, or tree bark, opted for newspaper, as a building material. The children glued five sheets of newspaper together, end to end.


Then, they rolled the sheets vertically, to make long tubes.


They used two of the tubes, stapled together to form a circular base.

Two more tubes were stapled across, east to west, to form a double arch, with space between for a door.

Then, three (though we had intended four), were arched across, and stapled, from north to south. The tubes were stapled to the base, and to each other where they crossed.


Much to my surprise, the structure stood. It was lopsided, but it stayed standing, even with a wiggly four year old, going in, and out.

It was not strong enough to support a cover though, so we propped it up before taping newspaper sheets to the outside.

We only had three newspapers to begin with, so we ran out, when our wigwam was about 1/3 covered, but it gave the children the idea.

We also talked about how the natives might have covered the door, and why a hole, to let the smoke out, would be necessary in the roof. Since we mainly have examples of tipis, in this part of the country, I wanted to give the children a hands on, visual demonstration of the type of homes the Wampanoag people, encountered by the Pilgrims, would have lived in.


Mission accomplished.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

11 comments:

Ticia said...

That is way cool. Back when we used to live in California my Dad would trim back the trees every year and we'd use those branches to make a wig wam every year. It was awesome.

Christy said...

That is awesome! I am impressed. I think my kids would have fun with that. I am surprised that you managed to make that much of a structure with only three newspapers.

I love the way your children work together. Do they all get along very well?

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Christy - They have a love/hate relationship. But, we try to promote teamwork, whenever possible.

Lauren said...

That looks like *such* a fun project!

Bsblog said...

very good idea.

Phyllis said...

Very well done! We made something like this once but called it an igloo...I never thought about the fact that a wigwam is a similar shape. Very cool!

pebblekeeper said...

Well - Now you know what we'll be doing this afternoon. :) I think the boys will have fun with this!

Lady Chadwick said...

that looks like a way cool scout project...wonder if we could do it at camp....

Wonder Mom said...

Mmmmmm- not much wampum needed to make this....me like...very much...

(Did you get that I was trying out my best "Tonto" impression?) :0)

Raising a Happy Child said...

Impressive! I am sure your oldest could contemplate all the various ideas of how to reinforce their structure. Your response about "love/hate relationship" made me smile.

Debbie said...

This is just too cool for words! I love it so creative!