Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 12062

"Home, home on the range ... " Who would want to live on the stove? Bad joke. The building you live in is home, even if it is not like where your friends and family live. Or even the animals outside!


People and Their Environment

Social Studies
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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What do each of these structures have in common? Who or what may be inside?

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Shelter is one of the most basic human needs.

People find shelter in the places they call "home." Think about your home.

  • In what ways does your home provide you and your family shelter?

Discuss the idea of shelter with your teacher or parent. Your home provides you shelter from the outdoor elements, including rain, snow, wind, hot temperatures, and freezing temperatures. Your home also provides you protection from outside intruders and wild animals. Think about what your life would be like if you did not live in a structure with four walls and a roof. Describe to your teacher what would happen in each of the following scenarios if you had no shelter:

  • when it rains.
  • when there is a wild animal nearby, such as a fox or wolf.
  • when the temperature drops below freezing.

Your home is much more than just the place where you sleep! It helps keep you dry, warm, and safe. You can see by looking at the images at the beginning of the lesson that people live in different types of homes. Some people live in a house. A house is a building that is separated from other buildings. Most houses have yards.


Other families live in a trailer. Trailers are small, rectangular-shaped structures. Typically, trailers are portable, which means they can be moved. Most other housing structures are permanently fixed to one place.


Families can also be found living in apartments or condominiums. Apartments and condominiums consist of multiple one-family units that are all together in one building, or in the case of condominiums, many one-family homes all built together into one big complex.

  • Can you think of a reason why it would be helpful to build homes on top of one another?

Tell your teacher or parent your idea. Apartments and condominiums help to save space, especially in big cities where there is not a lot of land. Apartment buildings and condominiums can provide many homes on a limited amount of space.


Finally, some families live in townhomes or row houses. Townhomes and row houses are similar to houses, except they are built with their sides touching. Since townhouses and row houses are touching the homes next door to them, they typically have very small yards. While townhomes and row houses do not save as much space as apartments and condominiums, building them so close together helps builders to be able to construct several homes in a small space.


Take some time to compare each of the types of homes you just studied. Then, discuss the following questions with your parent or teacher:

  • What do the types of homes have in common?
  • How are the types of homes different?
  • What could be an advantage to living in each type of home?
  • What could be a disadvantage to living in each type of home?
  • What types of homes do you see the most of where you live?
  • With all these different types of homes, how do families decide which type to live in?

Families select the homes they will live in based on their needs and wants. Needs are things that are required to keep you alive and healthy. Wants are things you would like to have, but they are not necessary to survive.

  • What are some things you need in a home?
  • What are some things you want in a home?

Discuss your responses with your teacher or parent.

Sometimes the things people need and want in a home can be different, based on the family. For example, a family with five children needs more space than a married couple with no children. When families are deciding where they want to live, they have to make sure all their needs are met first. Then, if there is still money left over, they can look for homes that have things they want, such as an extra bathroom or a finished basement.

  • Which type of home do you live in?
  • How does your home meet the needs of your family?

Discuss your responses with your teacher or parent.

Then, move on to the Got It? section to evaluate the homes of different living organisms.

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