Latticed Learning - Structures

Learn while playing with Latticed Learning!  This week's theme has plenty of activities to go along with it - keep reading to find out more!

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Welcome back to Latticed Learning!  This year, we're continuing to learn while we play - repeating many of our favorites from the past while adding in all sorts of new activities as well.

This day's post is devoted to our weekly themes - some weeks have more activities than others, but each lesson will be fun for you to explore with your little one!

Read All About It

Cross a Bridge was always a favorite in my classroom.  It's all about different types of bridges and even gives examples of where you can find some of them.

Look at That Building! is by the same author as Follow That Map! and it's just as fun and informative - a great introduction for children.

Iggy Peck, Architect - not only is this a fun rhyming story about a boy who loves to build, but it showcases over a dozen of the most famous structures ever built.  (I loved this book so much, I may or may not be secretly reading it myself while Gv naps!)

The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale - I thought this book was simply genius and it's the one Gv wanted me to read the most out of our stack.  It's the traditional tale - with an enhanced ending - but what I loved most about it was how each page was filled with clever architectural details (famous buildings, furniture, etc).

Building on Nature is a mini biography on Antoni Gaudí that highlights his most important works.  Gv enjoyed seeing that I had photos I'd taken of pretty much all of the buildings this book introduced her to. 

A Guide to the World's Greatest Buildings

How a House is Built

The World's Most Amazing Skyscrapers

If I Built a House

Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids

Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing

Shapes in Buildings

Building Big

Amazing Buildings

13 Architects Children Should Know

Amazing Buildings

Buildings at Work - Skyscrapers

The Three Little Pigs

Sing Some Songs

There were a few great tunes that I stumbled across this week:

Across the Bridge (2 versions) from this album was appropriate.

Building Bridges from this Hap Palmer album was great, too.

Strollin' Down the Road by the artist I talked about in this post was another addition to our civil engineering focus.

Watch Some Videos

We watched the Under Construction Magic School Bus episode along with some Bob the Builder shows.

Play and Create

We spent the majority of our week just building things.

First, we made houses for the three little pigs:




Then we spent some time building with all sorts of different materials:

Craft sticks and clothespins


Cups and craft sticks

Mega Blocks (and regular blocks, but I guess in addition to taking a bazillion fuzzy photos this week, I also forgot some!)

Empty toilet paper tubes and random ribbon spools

Straws and Play Doh

Toothpicks and cranberries (this one was far messier than I'd anticipated - be prepared for stains!)

In addition to the books we read this week, we looked at this site and these cards to see some famous world structures.

We did this fun paper tower test.  It was so easy and I can already tell that it will be one Gv requests a lot in the days to come!

We used the same set of books for each test.  The cylinder held 8, the rectangular prism held 6 books and the triangular prism held only 2.

The triangular prism has some extra folds because Gv was trying to "fold it myself" and copy what I was doing to fold the rectangular prism.  The extra edges might have affected the test's results, but I figured it really didn't matter for us today and decided not to waste another sheet of paper!

Then we did this awesome bridge test with some blocks, two sheets of cardstock, and some glass stones.

This will definitely be an activity to repeat with Gv when she gets older.  She's still a bit young to come up with new bridge designs on her own, but she really enjoyed her job of carefully placing the stones on the bridge!

A two-block bridge failed with 3 stones

Doubling the block supports up helped, but only allowed us to add one more stone before failure occurred.

This bridge held all of our stones, although I'd bet that it would fail with just one or two more.  There are three groups of block supports, with two blocks side-by-side for each (6 blocks total).
It took three block supports on each side to hold the arch up (that's one strong arch!).  I think this might have held more stones if we'd been able to make the supports wider, but as we only had 6 of these red blocks, the stones just slid right off the sides.
This one (2nd sheet of cardstock folded like an accordion) not only held all of our stones, but it was the most stable.
We cross quite a few bridges when we head to the mountains each summer, so I'm anxious to point out the different designs to Gv now that we've done this test!

Finally, we did this activity to illustrate how foundations work.  We obviously don't ever have any snow around here and I didn't feel like digging up half our yard for the dirt, so we just used rice:

After our paper tower test, I thought about trying this with both cylinder blocks and square columns to see if that made any difference, but then the oven dinged and my stomach told me to eat dinner instead.

It was another fun week!

Looking for all the great posts associated with this concept in one place?  Check out my Latticed Learning page here!

What's your favorite thing that we did this week?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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