Igloo Builder

Igloo Builder

Materials: None ; Links to assist: How Does An Igloo Keep You Warm?



  1. Mentors will start the lesson by asking students if they know what an igloo is. After a few students share, state the following facts:
    • “Igloo” comes from the Inuit Indian word for home.
      “The speed of igloo making can be about 1 hour per igloo if the maker is really quick.”
      “A full grown man can stand on an igloo head without being afraid of it getting collapsed.”
      “The best snow to use for igloo making is snow which has been blown by wind, which can serve to compact and interlock the ice crystals.”
  2. Then explain that today’s activity is called “Igloo Builder.” Tell the students that they will get to create their very own igloo! Using a Styrofoam cup as the base, students will glue the open side of the cup to a piece of paper. Once this is done, they will glue cotton balls to the cup to create their igloo. Mentors be sure to make your own igloo, too!
  3. Once students have wrapped up, end the lesson by asking student volunteers to answer a few questions:
    • How many cotton balls did you use to make your igloo?
      How did you engineer, or in simpler words, go about making your igloo?
      If you were to create your own igloo at home, what would you have done differently? Would you use different supplies? Why?
      What was your favorite part about making your own igloo?
      How do igloos work, even though their made of ice and snow?


    Download activity here


Grade Range:3rd-6th


Time: 25 minutes


Synopsis: Mentors will talk to students about the history of igloos and how Inuit (Eskimo) people made these homes to protect them from the harsh arctic cold. Once mentors and students have this discussion, students will watch a short video on igloos and then create their very own igloo out of cotton balls, glue, and a Styrofoam cup.