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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: Architecture Has Made Us Great

Architecture Has Made Us Great

HOW IT WORKS
Architecture Has Made Us Great is an interdisciplinary project that helps students become more aware of the architectural environment around them, thereby enriching the Social Studies curriculum as well as their own cultural appreciation. In the classroom, architectural terminology is defined and then viewed during neighborhood walks. The students participate in hands-on experiments to help them learn about such scientific concepts as force, push, pull, leveraging, and support. A teacher-made research packet helps the class become aware of historic sights as the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, the Taj Mahal, and the Parthenon. Students then ‘adopt’ a building in New York City and, with the aid of the computer, go on virtual tours of the historic buildings and research the buildings they are investigating. Students turn in photos taken of themselves at their adopted building and of the architectural elements they view. These photos, along with their research, are then turned into a class video with a class-written theme song. The culminating activity of the program involves the creative use of art material and their newly acquired knowledge to construct their own skyscraper of the future. 

THE STUDENTS
Architecture Has Made Us Great is designed for a fourth-grade class with gifted students. However, it can easily be adapted to include ELL students, Resource Room children, and students with average abilities as part of any Social Studies curriculum. The various activities in this program are ideal for whole-group instruction, small cooperative groups, and individual tasks. 

THE STAFF
Pamela Gillman-Levit has taught in the New York City public school system for thirty-three years. She has taught all levels of students and is currently teaching in the Sigma program in District 21. Her long association with Project Smart and B.A.C.A. has helped to inspire this interdisciplinary program. 

WHAT YOU NEED
This program requires at least ten class periods to complete. Teacher-made copies of the Historical Architecture Coloring Book can be furnished upon request. A computer with Internet connection, a digital camera, and video camera are necessary. Word-processing skills and a familiarity with Internet resources and researching is vital to the completion of the program. The following sites were useful in the creation of the program: 
www.digital city.com
www.enchantedlearning.com/greatwall 
www.london.com/tower

OVERALL VALUE
The great buildings and structures of the world around us are representative and indicative of our cultural growth and development. This highly motivational program provides a meaningful experience that enables students to become acquainted with architecture. Architecture Has Made Us Great provides captivating images and information about structures near and far as students learn to appreciate their surroundings and begin to understand the world that they live in. This program will underscore the relationships between architecture, language arts, science, art, and a greater world understanding. Students will leave this program challenged, enriched, and encouraged to explore the world around them. 

 

View the Curriculum Unit/Dissemination Packet

CURRICULUM AREAS
Social Studies
Science
Technology
Language Arts
Art

GRADES
Grade 4-6

MORE INFORMATION

Pamela Gillman-Levit
Morris Weiss School
P.S. 215
415 Ave S
Brooklyn, NY 11223
baindy@aol.com
Principal 
Gail Feuer

 

IMPACT II Catalog 2001-2002

 

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