The number one book I recommend for this project -- to me, an essential part of the grade 3 Housebuilding block -- is
The Hand-Sculpted House:
A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage
by Ianto Evans, et al.
You DON'T have to build a house. We did a garden bench at the entrance to our nature path. A simple low garden edging could also be a starter project. Of course, if you want to tie it in with 3rd grade Baking (Time, Temperature, Weight, and Volume) you could go for
Build Your Own Earth Oven:
A Low-Cost Wood-Fired Mud Oven, Simple Sourdough Bread, Perfect Loaves
by Kiko Denzer
Other great resources for the Housebuilding block, besides the list of excellent books for Native Houses Around the World (on my website), are
The Forgotten Arts & Crafts
by John Seymour
Vine-Covered Bamboo Tipi -- use yards of finger knitting to weave a trellis
blog post - Switzerite
Kid-Sized Geodesic Dome
blog post - DesertWind
It would be nice to do some wet felting and make a model of a yurt.
I'm also really inspired by Finger-Knitting a Tent. This isn't really housebuilding, probably, but it's A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. And it would be art and handwork, for sure.
Roy Wilkinson wrote the best book on this block. His work is so concise and inexpensive. Far out-shadowed by people like Donna Simmons and Charles Kovacs. But I love him! WaldorfBooks still has a lot of his things but this book is, unfortunately, out of print!
If you find this used, GET IT.
Last, but not least, I really like Jeffrey Gottlieb's books WIGWAM: Building the Northeastern Domed Shelter and Teaching Primitive Skills to Children: An Instructor's Manual (link is to a book review, not a shop). The only place I know where you can get them is the gift shop at the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in Southern Maryland, but I'm sure if you called they'd be happy to sell you a copy and mail it.
AHA! Actually, in looking for a picture of this book, I found the following at http://www.mountaincraft.org/instructors/:
JEFFREY GOTTLIEB, MS (IN BIOLOGY), HAS BEEN A NATURALIST, OUTDOOR EDUCATOR AND PRIMITIVE SKILLS INSTRUCTOR FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS. HE WORKS WITH SCHOOL GROUPS, NATURE CENTERS, MUSEUMS, SCOUT TROOPS AND SUMMER CAMPS, BUILDS FULL-SIZED WIGWAMS AND LONGHOUSES AND REPLICATES PRIMITIVE TOOLS AND ARTIFACTS FOR DISPLAY. HIS AREAS OF SPECIAL INTEREST INCLUDE FIBER ARTS, FLINTKNAPPING, BASKETRY, EDIBLE AND UTILITARIAN PLANTS, AND NATURE AWARENESS. HE TRAVELS WIDELY IN THE EASTERN U.S. TEACHING AT RENDEZVOUS, GATHERINGS AND HISTORIC FAIRS. HE HAS WRITTEN A HOW-TO MANUAL ON BUILDING WIGWAMS, AND AN INSTRUCTORS’ MANUAL ENTITLED TEACHING PRIMITIVE SKILLS TO CHILDREN. HIS NEW BOOK ON NATURAL FIBERS AND ROPEMAKING IS AVAILABLE DIRECTLY FROM HIM. HE WELCOMES CORRESPONDENCE AND CAN BE REACHED VIA EMAIL AT ARGSKIDS@OPTONLINE.NET, OR AT 245 RED DOG LANE, WHITTIER, NC, 28789.
I'd be interested in his natural fibers book. If anyone gets it, please post a comment with a review!