Reflection: Advanced Students Great Buildings of the World: Create Your Own! (Day 2) - Section 3: Construction Activity


This child's tenacious struggle to create the building he wanted is the kind of moment that makes me deeply glad I am a teacher.  When I pointed out to him at the start of his construction that his irregular sides might make it difficult to put on a roof, he shrugged his shoulders, smiled, and said this is what he wanted to do!  Who can argue with that?  In fact, as we progressed through the several days of this activity, he was often used as an exemplar, in kid to kid talk, of determination and creativity.  The students who made cube shaped buildings finished first, but speed was not a measure of success in this activity, and they quickly set to work on a second building or as architectural consultants to their peers.

To be sure, a divergent, creative thinker like this child does not make things easy for themselves, or their teacher, but nobody is ever bored!  This is an activity that certainly would benefit from the support of parent helpers trained to put on rectangular piece roofs.  I found that the children who took home their complicated buildings, with an irregular side composed of adjacent hexagons, for example, came back with a flat roof that didn't match the side.  While this is a justifiable architectural choice, it dilutes the underlying purpose of building the roof:  to measure the perimeter of rectangles that will create a 3d polygonal roof, and to view the beautiful complexity of the 3 dimensional roof itself.

So back to this child, it took a few days of support to get his roof on.  Not only did each rectangle need to be measured, but his sides had not been precisely cut, so the rectangular pieces didn't completely line up.  Then the paper pieces needed to be attached with a variety of supports that had to be placed by reaching up on to the underside of the roof.  This boy doesn't,  necessarily talk a lot, and by interacting with him on a self-selected complex task over the course of several days, I was able to engage in meaningful, timely, relevant mathematical discourse that I believe will add to both his written ability to express mathematical concepts and his conceptual understanding of basic geometry.

Romans Great Building_8414.jpg

  Advanced Students: Roman's White House
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Great Buildings of the World: Create Your Own! (Day 2)

Unit 11: Geometry in Architecture
Lesson 6 of 9

Objective: SWBAT create buildings using different combinations of 3D solids, applying their understanding of faces comprised of simple polygons.

Big Idea: Creating their own building is a hands-on, minds-on way for students to explore how polygons create 3D solids.

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great bldg day 2 lesson image8450
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