Home, House & Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

I’ve heard many say “come to my home”, while others say “come to my house”. While similar, the two terms are different in meaning as well as how each meet our needs.  Home, House & Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs addresses all of these as it explores the similarities and differences between the two along with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This lesson provides an overview while engaging students in a variety of ways. So, if you teach about factors that influence our home and house selections, this may be a new way to go about it!


  • Ask students to just think, not respond, to characteristics that come to mind when I say the word “HOME”.
  • Ask students to just think, not respond, to characteristics that come to mind when I say the word “HOUSE”.
  • Now, ask them to take their thoughts and use them to complete the Venn Diagram of similarities and differences between the two terms.
  • After students have completed their own Venn Diagrams, have them partner up or form small groups, sharing their characteristics for a few minutes.
  • Come back together as a group and have students share and discuss as a class their ideas as you fill in a master diagram on the board.  Have students add new ideas to their diagrams in a different color marker. HERE are some possible answers.


  • iPads or Laptops
  • Projector & Screen
  • Play-doh (affiliate link)
  • Colored Markers or Pencils


  • If you’ve taught Maslow’s Hierarchy to your students already, then you simply need to review and illustrate how the home/house can help meet our needs as they apply to his theory.  If you’ve not taught Maslow’s Hierarchy to your students, now would be a good time to introduce it.
  • If you are teaching them Maslow’s Theory now, you can go through this infogram titled “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs related to Housing” and have students use that as their notes.
  • Next, provide each student with a copy of the poem titled, “What is a Home?” to read individually. After reading, place students in groups of 3-4.
  • After reading, give each student a small can of Play-doh (each a different color) and a piece of paper to sculpt on.  Explain to students that when you say, they are to begin a sculpture with the Play-doh that represents something they took away from the poem. After about 4-5 minutes of sculpting, give students a minute or two to write a sentence below it on the paper and then when directed, move to the next person’s chair in their group.  This activity is called Sculpt & Scoot and is something I learned from a course I took from Jed Dearybury & Julie Jones–authors of the book titled, The Playful Classroom (affiliate link). Note: My version of Sculpt and Scoot is an adaptation of their concept.
  • When they get to the next person’s chair in their group, they read what that student wrote and add something original to their sculpture from the poem. They then write a sentence explaining their addition to the sculpture. Again, when finished and directed by the teacher, they scoot to the next person’s chair in their group and repeat the process.
  • Once students get back to their original sculpture, They take a picture of their creation. The group will discuss and summarize the overall meaning of the poem.  Each group will collaborate to create a flash slide on a Google Slide that includes the following:
    • Title & Author of the Poem
    • Summary of Poem’s Overarching Message
    • Brief Explanation of Connection to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
    • Each person adds the Image of their “sculpture” to the Flash Slide
  • Finally, each group will share their “flash slide” before submitting it to Google Classroom.
  • Continue by having students use their notes, to go back to the poem and reread it, annotating the examples within that meet or represent Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Each level would be represented by a specific color:
    • Physiological/Basic Needs= yellow
    • Safety & Security= orange
    • Love & Belonging= purple
    • Self-Esteem= green
    • Self-Actualization= red
  • Another way to have students think critically, infer and use their imaginations, is to give them pictures from the below slide deck to evaluate and make connections to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Connections are made to examples in the photo that represent human needs being met. This is done as a chat station activity. Note: While there are 10 images to choose from, only use six for the actual chat stations. The six you use is up to you. Others can be used to demonstrate how chat stations work or they can be used as assessments.
  • For chat stations, place students into small groups of 2-3.  As you project the images onto the screen that you will use, one by one, students will briefly discuss with their small group what needs are being met or not met well and how and then individually write down their response. You may need to give students some leeway with inferring what is happening as they critically think about what needs are being met.
  • After all six images are shown and students have answers, discuss as a group.
  • As mentioned previously, you can use any remaining images as an assessment or you can come up with your own quiz or writing prompt instead.


Photo by Henry & Co. on Unsplash

Other Maslow Resources

Other Housing Resources

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