Build It

What keeps a bridge from falling down? Help K-5 students answer this essential question (and meet the Common Core State Standards) with the Teaching STEM lesson plans for this mentor text: Build It! by Tammy Enz (GRL Q / G740L)

Build it : invent new structures and contraptions

Unit Summary: Students will examine the essential question, “What keeps a bridge from falling down?” In groups, students will search for and locate information related to the four major kinds of bridge supports— beams, arches, trusses, and suspension. They will complete a graphic organizer to explain how each of the four supports work to hold up bridges. Then they will use toothpicks or Popsicle sticks to practice forming arches or trusses and use that knowledge to plan and draw a design for a bridge of their own for their group.

TeachingSTEM.medThe Library Activity begins on page 130. The Collaborative Teacher Activity is on page 132.

Extension Activities(sample)

1. Have the students do an interactive bridge building activity from PBS.

2. Investigate a cantilever bridge support and compare it with the BATS supports.

3. After reading the book, have the students write a short description of the main idea of the book. Use the phrase, “I am a engineer.. I know that _________.”

You can find more Teaching STEM lesson plans on the Teaching STEM blog

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