Building a Home in Cleveland in 1796
To introduce students to the type of homes the first settlers
of Cleveland built.
Students will understand the simplicity of the dwellings as well
as the building techniques and how they differ from methods used
chinked, puncheon, hewn, auger, adz
- How were the early log cabins constructed?
- How were the early log cabins designed for family living?
What were the areas used for?
- How were the early log cabins the same or different from homes
- Ask students what they know about the homes of early pioneers.
Of what were they made? How were they built?
- Read to the class the primary source of William C. Howell's
recollection of building a log cabin. Through discussion, have
students identify the steps required for building a log cabin.
- Continue the discussion by asking students:
a. What tools were needed to build a log house? (axe, broad
axe, froe, draw knife,auger, hammer, saw)
b. Which of these tools are still used for building houses
today? What new tools are used today?
c. The settler used the wood around his lot to build his house.
Where would we get our wood today? (lumber yard, Builder's
d. What does the building you live in today have that the
settlers' log cabin did not have? (Answers may vary, but may
include: more rooms, bathroom, etc.)
- Distribute Handout #1 Construction of a Log Cabin. Direct
students to Howells's recollection. They are to reorganize the
steps for building a log cabin into the correct order.
- The short story "Early Homes in Cleveland" may be
duplicated and used as a reading assignment for students, or the
teacher may choose to read the story to the class. Discuss with
the class decisions settlers had to make about their cabins, the
various steps in building a log cabin, and the materials used.
- Distribute Handout #2 - Log Cabin Floor Plan. Discuss the
floorplan of a log cabin. Have students organize the living space
of the log cabin (students may complete this activity in cooperative
groups). On the reverse side of the paper, students will then
draw their own home's floor plan and use of living space. Students
may share their comparisons with the class or within small groups.
The teacher may assign a writing assignment in which students
write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the living space of
early settlers with the living space of homes today.
- Distribute Handout #3 - Log Cabin Model. Tell students to
color the handout as they wish. Then have them cut out the log
cabin on the solid lines and fold on the dotted lines. Glue flaps
- Distribute Handout #4 - Village of Cleveland Map.Following
map directions, have students locate designated items and locations.