Lesson Plan

Building a Mississippian House

wattle and daub

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
30 Minutes
Thinking Skills:
Creating: Bring together parts (elements, compounds) of knowledge to form a whole and build relationships for NEW situations.

Essential Question

In "Building a Creek House," students will learn the wattle and daub method used by the Creek Native Americans to build their homes. This is a hands-on, movement activity for students to "experience" the construction of a home.


Guiding Question:
How did the Creek Native Americans use their environment to construct their shelters?
Critical Content:
Process of shelter construction by the Creek Native Americans.
Student Objectives:
Students will describe shelter construction by Creek Native Americans.


The activity "Building a Creek House" will have students up and moving as they go through the steps to build a house just as the Creek Native Americans once did in Georgia and at Ocmulgee National Monument. By being part of the process, students will gain a deeper understanding of the wattle and daub method of home construction.


Flexible material of length to represent river cane – for example: rope, finger weaving, yarn
Words to song displayed (see in procedure)


Children will learn how the Mississippian culture built their wattle and daub homes.

Download Building a Mississippian House

Lesson Hook/Preview

The students will describe the Georgia Creek and Cherokee cultures of the past in terms of tools, clothing, homes, ways of making a living, and accomplishments.


Step 1:
Ask for 6-10 volunteers. These students will stand in a line arms' length apart. They represent the tree trucks that make the posts for the house.  
Step 2:
Two students will be the weavers. One stands on the inside, and the other will be on the outside.
Have the words to the following song posted or held by a student.
As the "audience" sings, the two weavers pass the flexible material representing river cane between the posts or tree students. The material will be in front of and then behind the posts, continuing front-back until used up.
Wattle and Daub by Amy Atao
set to the tune of "To Grandmother's House We Go"
In and out – Between the posts
To wattle our house, we weave
Over and under – Between the cane
To daub our house, we pat

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Last updated: June 21, 2018