Native American Adobe Houses

My Fourth Graders made these fabulous adobe houses. They began by learning about the clay pueblo houses of the Southwest Indians and viewed several examples of this unique style of achitecture. Then they  drew and cut out a design to be replicated in clay.

Supplies:  Red body clay or brown clay with grog added for texture, student drawings of puebloes, needle tooles or tapestry needles, rolling pins, wood plugs (for the vigas), bamboo skewers (for ladders), and weavings that students created.

Vocabulary:       

Pueblo,  Adobe, Viga,  Ceramic,  Slab, Weaving,  Warp,  Weft

Process: 

1.Each student was given a ball of clay and rolled a slab with a rolling pin.

2.They then placed the adobe template they had drawn and cut out on top of the clay and cut it out ofthe clay using a neddle tool.  (As an alternitive, use a tapestry needle)

3.  These were placed on shelves to air dry before firing in the kiln.

4.  Viga’s (the wooden timbers supporting the structure) were added by gluing the wood plugs onto the fired pieces.

5.  Weavings (done before this lesson) were also glued onto ladders made from bamboo skewers and glued onto the adobe houses to create a finished piece of art.

This was a lesson that was sucessful for all students and became a favorite of many.  They were displayed by gluing a pop tab onto the back with a silicone glue as a “picture hanger”.

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