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Our Shelter

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Last updated date: 21st Jul 2024
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What is a Shelter?

A shelter is a covered place, which provides protection to humans, animals and birds from their surroundings. Animals make shelters by burrowing into the ground, building lodges from tree branches and mud. Birds build their nest on trees. Humans build houses out of wood, mud, bamboo and stone according to the environmental conditions and the availability of the raw materials. 

Shelter - Our protection

Why Do We Need a Shelter?

  • A shelter provides safety and protection from different types of weather conditions, such as rain, wind, heat, cold and dangerous animals. 

  • It provides a place to rest and carry out day-to-day activities.

  • It provides a private place and facilities for the storage of belongings.

Types of Shelter

Broadly, there are two types of shelter-

  1. Permanent shelter: The places where humans or animals live for very long duration and spend most of their lifetime becomes their permanent shelter. Example - Houses, caves, bird nests.

  2. Temporary shelter: The places where humans or animals live only for short duration and for specific purposes are called temporary shelter. Example- shelter home, caravan, tent houses, house boats, and migratory bird nests. 

Types of Shelter

Living Beings and Their Shelter

  1. Animals and their shelter

  • Animals that live on land and forests - cow, dog, donkey, horse, lion, elephant, deer, rhinoceros, peacock.

Shelter of animals living on land

  • Animals that live on trees - monkeys, birds, sloth, and apes.

Animals living on trees

  • Animals that live in burrows - rat, ant, rabbits, snake, earthworms and scorpion

  • Animals that live both on land and water - frogs, snakes, crocodiles, etc.

  1. Birds and their shelter

Birds generally make their shelter in the form of nests with a variety of materials, such as grass, soft twigs, roots, wool, wire, wood, leaves, and hair. However, the place of building up the nests varies with the type of bird. 

Shelter of birds

  1. Insects and their shelter

Shelter of insects

  1. Humans and their shelter

The shelter of human beings is known as ‘house’. It can be of two types, depending on the type of material used in building them.

  • Kutcha House - These houses are not very strong as they are made of mud, wood, straw etc. Example - huts

  • Pucca House - These houses are strong as they are made of cement, bricks, iron, wood and steel. Example- apartments, bungalows, flats.

Types of houses

Important Factors Behind the Choice of Shelter

  1. Location and Geography - The choice of house differs on the basis of area. For example, the houses in desert areas will be entirely different from houses found in hilly areas.

  2. Environmental Conditions - The type of environmental conditions and the climate present in an area will play a very important role in deciding the type of house that should be built. 

  3. Raw material availability and economic status of the individual - The raw materials that are easily available in a particular area make a good choice for building the house. Also, the economic status of the person decides the type of house that he/she can afford.

Type of Houses in Specific Area

  • House made with mud - These types of houses are found in deserts of Rajasthan and other villages. The mud does not let the heat cross the wall, and makes people better able to adapt to excessive heat.

Image showing house made with mud

  • Houses made with wood and bamboo - These houses are found in Assam and other parts of North-east India, where there is very heavy rainfall. The wood and bamboo remain standing above the ground, and therefore the houses do not get affected by the flood.

house made with wood and bamboo

  • Houseboat - These houseboats are found in Kashmir and Kerala. These are made with wood and float on water. 


  • Igloo - Igloos are found in very cold regions and are made with ice blocks. It is usually oval in shape. 


  • Tents - These are temporary shelters used by mountaineers and forest hikers and are made of plastic or clothes.


Solved Questions:

  1. What is used to make an igloo?

Ans: Igloos are made by Eskimos with ice blocks. It is made in an oval shape and the entry door is kept small. 

  1. What type of houses are found in areas having both snowfall and rainfall?

Ans: In these types of areas, the houses are built with sloping roofs so that the snow and rain can fall off easily. The raw material used for making these houses could be bricks, stone and woods.

Fun Facts

  1. Nests are not always made by females. Among ‘weaver birds’, it is the duty of males to make nests for females so that they can lay eggs.

  2. There is a bird named ‘Koel’ which never makes its own nest. It lays its eggs in the crow’s nest and the crow hatches them considering its own.

  3. In hilly areas, such as in Himachal Pradesh, the roof of the house is made slanting so that snow and rain can easily fall down. However, in Delhi and Mumbai, the houses have flat roofs.


In this article, we have studied the importance of shelter and its types. We have learnt about the types of shelter made by different living organisms. We discussed the important factors which should be kept in mind while building a house in a particular area. We also studied different types of houses found in specific locations. 

Learning By Doing

  1. Which type of houses will you find in a polar region?

  2. How is a houseboat different from other houses?

  3. Why do people make tent houses?

FAQs on Our Shelter

1. What type of shelters do ants make?

The ants make a shelter known as ‘anthills’ with sand and twigs.

2. What are the properties of a ‘Good House’?

A ‘Good House’ should be well-ventilated, doors and windows should have proper wire netting, drainage system, open space like balcony and plant around it. 

3. What are those people who roam around from one place to another called?

The people who roam around from place to place are known as ‘nomads’. These people live in tents or caravans.