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Big Era Seven: Closeup Unit 7.1.20

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Living Rooms
1800-1900

Why This Unit?

This teaching unit focuses on the architectural design of living spaces. Students learn about common considerations among home builders in Mongolia to the North American plains. While geography is one defining factor in the creation of living spaces, other factors are culturally and socially based. Students investigate these qualities through the examination of floor plans and cultural artifacts, such as poems, and then perform skits that might take place in each of the different homes they have investigated. Follow-up discussion has students consider the different cultural, social, economic, and geographic influences on house construction.

This unit was designed to introduce a study of the nineteenth century but could be adapted for other periods. In addition to dwellings in Mongolia, the Native American plains, and Vietnam, Russian peasant dwellings and British factory worker and owner living spaces are also included. Other adaptations to the unit could include additional geographic locations dispersed across the globe.

Unit Objectives

Upon completing this unit, students will be able to:

1. Explain how physical geography has historically affected choices in home construction.

2. Make inferences about cultural, social, political, and economic aspects of different societies based on home design.

3. Explain how culture, societal values, politics, and economics have affected choices in home construction.

Time and Materials

One class period is needed for examination of the documents in small groups; one period is needed for performing the skits; a third period is needed for follow-up discussion and assessment. In addition to the attached Student Handouts, a physical world map or student atlas is useful.

Table of Contents

Why this unit?

2

Time and materials

2

Unit objectives

2

Author

2

The historical context

3

This unit in the Big Era timeline

5

Lesson: Living Rooms

6

This unit and the Three Essential Questions

27

This unit and the Seven Key Themes

27

This unit and the Standards in Historical Thinking

28

Resources
28

Correlations to National and State Standards

29

Conceptual links to other lessons

30

Complete Teaching Unit in PDF Format

 

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