This lesson plan was written by Ed Clement,
teacher at Hanson Park Elementary School and a former Teachers Network web mentor.
Take the lesson of building a simple paper geodome
model one step further. After the model is completed make a cardboard
model large enough to be used as a playhouse or reading center for Pre-K
through 1st grade students.
kids in 5th through 8th grade.
kids that math can be useful.
- Use math and compass skills to make two small paper geodome circles.
(One for the hexagon and one for the square.)
- Use the mathematical properties of circles and protractor skills
to divide the two small geodome circles into the proper number of
- Connect the section ends of both circles.
- Repeat steps 1 through 3 or use spreadsheet and CAD skills to
make 7 more hexagons and 6 more squares.
- Cut out circles with scissors.
- Fold back the sections ends.
- Staple or bolt ends together using a completed paper geodome
as a diagram.
- Decorate small paper geodome. (Best decorated small paper geodome
can be use as the model for decorating the big geodome.)
- Repeat steps 1 through 8 with larger panel dimensions and large
sheets of cardboard.
- Move geodome into pre-k or primary classroom to be used as a
playhouse, reading room etc.
|| On the left is a diagram of
how the dome is put together. The dome is really an Archimedean
solid called a truncated octahedron. It is made by joining
8 hexagons and 6 squares in the manner illustrated below.
More detailed drawings and assembly directions for this truncated
octahedron can be found in most geometry books.
I choose this particular Archimedean solid because the
hexagons are large enough to make a stable base for the
geodome to rest on and because it required only 14 panels
to complete .
The individual panels are made by first drawing a circle. To make
the hexagon panel the circle is divided into six equal 60 degree segments
while the square is a circle divided into 90 degree segments. After
the segments are drawn the segment ends are connected.
To make a small paper dome 6 inches tall make the hexagon circles
5 inches in diameter and the square circles 3 1/2 inches in diameter.
When making the 54 inch high play house, make the hexagon circles
44 inches in diameter and the square circles 31 inches in diameter.
|| HIGH TECH
- 14 sheets of 8 1/2" by 11" plain white paper
- 14 sheets of 2 feet by 2 feet sheets of cardboard
- Compass and protractor
- 1/4" by 3/4" bolts and nuts
- 1/4" diameter punch
- Screw driver
- Simple calculator
- Same as simple plus
- Computer loaded with spreadsheet and computer assisted design
- Graphing calculator·
- Cordless electric hand drill with 1/4" drill bit
- Electric screw driver