I created a “Structures” unit for science in third grade. I created a unit that would be linear and meaningful for students, involving critical thinking throughout the unit. I included technology, (using the internet to do a “quick study” of man-made structures), take a look at “natural” structures, categorize pictures of both, and determine what makes structures free standing, strong, tall, stable, and durable.
Students have some background knowledge to start to build a tall, strong, and stable structure out of newspapers and masking tape. On the days following, students will build with toothpicks and marshmallows, spaghetti and Dots, plastic cups, and tin foil in small groups.
Included are prompt questions for students to reflect upon their work and respond to critical thinking questions. Drawings and responses will be written in students’ Science Notebooks.
Last, but not least, I have included a non-fiction book group study around structures of the world. I looked on Amazon and ordered leveled books about structures – The Great Wall of China, A Suspension Bridge, etc. Each child will make a magazine using non-fiction text features. There is a graphic organizer to help students write “summaries” of chapters they read
in “information boxes.” There is also a graphic organizer for students to draw close-up or far-away pictures. All directions are included in this packet.