What should my home provide?

What should my home provide?


1. Real Life Situation

Uma has just started in my class at school. They moved here from a long way away, so his parents had to buy a new house for the whole family and their dog to live in.

I am going over to play at Uma's house later, I wonder what his house will be like. Mine is quite small and I have to share a room with my brother, he leaves his stuff lying all over the floor. In winter it gets really cold and I have to wear my pullover indoors, mummy says it is better to wear a pullover than turn up the heating. Uma was very surprised when I said I wear a pullover inside because his house is so warm.

The best thing about my house is the back garden. I have a great den at the bottom made from lots of things I have found. The shed has all my dads tools in for looking after the garden where we grow lots of flowers, but also food to eat.

Uma said his house is brand new, and has lots of gadgets. Everyone has their own room and they have a huge garden. Uma says the energy comes from the sun!

If I move house I am going to tell my parents exactly what I want it to be like and where I want it to be! It will definitely have a room of my own!


2. Introduction

My home is the most important place in the world to me. But I would like to make some changes so that I can invite more friends to play and stay over. I have a big bedroom but it's not laid out well. I need some new furniture and I would like to redecorate and change the style of my room so it looks more modern. My parents think the priority is to buy a new front door and garden furniture. This would make our house more secure and provide us with somewhere to sit in our back garden. But I still think the comfort and design of my bedroom is important.


3. Task

 Investigate the functions of the home and how they meet our needs.

Learn about the history of the house and the differences in the main features of homes in other countries.

Study what makes a 'Green' home and create a list of the '10 ways to save energy in our homes.'

Create a model of your ideal home. 


4. Activities

Activity 1: "Wants" and "Needs" in my home

Activity 2: Houses and lifestyles across the centuries

Activity 3: Create a 3D model of your 'Ideal Home'


Activity 1: "Wants" and "Needs" in my home

You will investigate what a home should provide and the distinction between wants and needs, through role-play and interviewing friends, relatives and neighbours.  


Part 1:

Interview friends, relatives and neighbours to find out what they think a home should provide.  Use the worksheet to help you. 

Bring the worksheet back to school to discuss the results with the rest of the class.

Part 2:

Work in small groups of a maximum of 5 people.

This activity is a role-play game with each group in the class representing a different family.

In your group choose your family and family name and agree who you will play in the family. 

The aim is for each family to discuss the distinction between 'wants' and 'needs' and to decide what should be included in the family budget. Each family has a limited amount of money so you will have to think carefully about what should be included and excluded in the budget for the next month.

Use the worksheet 'What are the most important things that my home should provide in order to meet our needs?' to answer the questions as a group.

You can use the results from your interviews with family and friends to help. 


Activity 2: Houses and lifestyles across the centuries


Working in small groups of 5 or 6 choose a topic from the list below for your group to work on. You will be investigating what the functions of various houses are and the needs and lifestyles of people through history.

At the end of this activity you will need to summarise your findings and make a connection between the function of a house and the needs of the people living in it. Each group should present the results of their work to the rest of the class. This can be done by creating a presentation on the computer, making a poster or giving a short talk.


Topic 1: British houses across the ages

  • Instructions:

Follow the links below to learn more about houses in Britain across the ages. Make notes on each house including: when the houses were constructed,what they were made of, the most significant features and how they differ from your own house.




Wartime homes

Create a history line of housing from caves to the modern house by drawing pictures and adding labels.

Summarise the information you have found and make a connection between the function of the house and the needs of the people living in it.


Topic 2: Houses around the world


For this topic you will investigate different types of houses from other countries.

Click here to learn about different types of houses around the world and here to see children from different parts of the world and their houses.

Watch this short film which shows a young Inuit boy being taught how to build an igloo by his father.

Watch this time lapse footage and see the construction of a 'ger' in the Mongolian Blue River Valley.


Draw and describe at least 3 different types of houses highlighting the differences between them.

Consider why houses from other countries look different.

You may also want to investigate how the interior of houses has changed over time, you can find some examples here


Summarise your findings and try to make a connection between the function of a house and the needs of the people living in it.


Topic 3: An Eco House - a house for the future

What is an Eco or Green house

Learn how you can make your home green by following the advice on how to save natural resources in the different areas of your house


Watch "Energy – let's save it"

What are the benefits of using energy saving light bulbs?

Investigate how much electricity different electrical appliances (iron, refrigerator, TV, kettle) use in your house.

What are the main ways in which you can reduce your energy consumption at home? Do you think some of these measures could be implemented in your home as well?

How can you save water in your home?


Summarise the information you have collected through a powerpoint presentation or poster and share your findings with the rest of the class.

Make sure you include the following:

What a green or eco house is

Ten ways to save energy at home

Is there a connection between the function of a house and the people that live in it?


Activity 3: Create a 3D model of your 'Ideal Home'

Working in a small group, you will be designing you 'ideal home'. Discuss and decide what type of house you would like to construct. You will need to consider the number and type of rooms and their layout, the furnishing and interior design and ideas to make your home energy efficient.



Research different interior design styles for each room in your house.

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a house when it comes to what house buyers look for. Some buyers want a modern kitchen, others a more traditional feel and some a typical 'country' house kitchen. Read here for advice on layout and design and watch the video on how to save energy in the kitchen.

Bathrooms are another area of the house where buyers like to see an updated room with modern suites and flooring.

What about the bedrooms? What would you like your room to look like?

Try experimenting in this virtual room to see what types of pattern and texture you prefer on your walls and ceiling.

The lighting in the house is also important. Updated windows that offer a lot of light will make the room look bigger, brighter and more appealing to potential buyers.

And what about Еco innovations? You could have 'Green Roof' (look here to see a picture of a school with a green roof)

Read here and here for some more ideas.


Once you have collected all your ideas, create your own 'ideal home'. 

You can make a 3D model or a powerpoint presentation.

If you decide to create a 3D model of your 'ideal home' you will need to collect materials to build your model.  You will need different size boxes for the main building and materials for the furniture and interior decoration for example pieces of cloth for curtains, old magazines for wallpaper.

You will also need glue, scissors and masking tape.


5. Reflection

Write down three things you have learnt about the functions of the home and how it meets our needs.

Write down two things you would like to find out more about.

Choose one of these things, how could you find out more about it?

Buildings and Grounds learing wall


6. Conclusion

Buying a house will be one of the biggest investments of your life and it is important that you maintain and improve your house. The value of your house is about more than just the price you paid for your house or the location you house is in. More importantly the changes you make inside your house make your house your home and these are unique and individual.


7. Teacher notes

Age: 8 - 12


Activity 1: Wants" and "Needs" in my home (15 minutes)
Activity 2: Houses and Lifestyles across the centuries (30 minutes)
Topic 1: British houses across the ages
Topic 2: Houses acround the world
Topic 3:An Eco-House - a house for the future
Activity 3: Create a 3D model of your 'Ideal Home' (45 minutes)

Curriculum / subject (cross-curricular links):

Design and Technology

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the quest all students will:
Recognise the home as a place where they feel safe, comfortable and protected.
Understand and identify different perceptions of functionality, vision and home design.
Understand the impact of every personal choice in our home on the environment.
Present in a structured, schematic and or visual form, ideas about the functionality of home and sustainability

 Further resources can be found here www.shelterclassroomkit.org.uk/

Teacher assesment framework