A Study of Architecture
Grade 5/6 students have began their study and research into architecture and its history. We started with a pre-assessment activity where each group of students was given two materials to use to build a structure.
The purpose of this activity was to find out what they already know about structures, the purpose of structures and how the choice of materials might affect the form and function of a building.
Presentation of Materials
The students were grouped and each group was presented with two building materials. There were a variety of materials provided - rocks, tiles, legos, K-nex, shape builders and Magna tiles. The students needed to look at how easy the materials were to 'join' and also potentially the limitations of the materials they were provided.
Each group worked on building their structures. Some groups made a plan and proceeded to build while others experimented with the materials to see what they could do with it.
Group Reflection and Feedback
Teamwork and Co-operation
Some groups worked better than others and during their reflections, they were able to explain why they thought it was so. One of the groups did not communicate as well and thus one of their members was left feeling frustrated. Other groups worked really well as there were natural leaders giving instructions and asking for ideas.
Talking about Materials
While the groups were able to talk about how hard it was to join some materials and how challenging it was to make the structure stable, it was noted that deeper connections were not being made. One group mentioned that they could only build square or rectangular structures as they had Lego blocks. Another said that the Magna-tiles were easy to join and allowed them to build an irregular shaped structure.
During the group discussion, a lot of ideas, comments and views were presented. Alas, the groups' written reflections did not show the depth of the discussion and some of the connections that were made. This is one area we would be looking into - writing detailed reflections that show deep connection to learning.