Ancient Greek Homes & Courtyards Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Angela Burke

Angela has over ten years of teaching experience in Special Education, classroom teaching and GT. She has a master's degree in Special Ed with an emphasis in Gifted.

The ancient Greeks had interesting homes! In this lesson, find out what materials were used to build Greek houses, and discover where men, women and children spent most of their time.

Building Materials

Imagine living in a mud house! The ancient Greeks actually lived in homes made of sun-dried mud bricks. Unfortunately, their walls weren't very strong. It was common for houses to crumble into pieces, and most had to be rebuilt. The roofs of the homes were made of clay tiles and the windows were small and covered with wooden shutters. These houses were constructed to keep the Greeks warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Greek Homes

Similar to today, poor Greek people lived in small homes, while wealthy Greeks lived in large ones. Large homes usually had a kitchen, several bedrooms and a small room for bathing. They also had a room called a pastas, which open on one side, similar to a porch. The Greeks also had furniture just like we do today, including couches, tables and chairs. But believe it or not, there were no toilets! Instead, the Greeks used a chamber pot, which is a bowl kept in a bedroom to be used as a toilet. The chamber pot was emptied in the gutter or the street. Ew!

Floor plan of a Greek home.
Greek Home

The Greek Household

The home was very important to Greek family life; however, it was common for men and women to live in different parts of the house. A special room called the andron was used for men and their male guests. Men lounged on couches and were served an evening meal while they discussed things like politics. They would also recite poetry or riddles. There was even a separate door to the andron so men and women would not run into one another. Women had a special room too, usually located on the second floor, where they did weaving and spinning and took care of the children.

Many Greek families included the husband, wife, children, grandparents and other female relatives who were not married. Wealthy families also had slaves who lived with them and worked in the fields and the home, or in workshops making sandals or jewelry.

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