Tuesday: Leaning Tower of Pisa

Feb 28, 2012   //   by Miss Kim   //   Daily Lessons  //  No Comments

Calendar: Discussed calendar in English and Spanish. Gretchen put the number on the calendar, discussed the weather and found the day of the week in Spanish.  She reviewed the Spanish and Sign language words.

Brainstorm/Fun Facts: We reviewed what we learned about St. Basil’s Cathedral.  The children told me what they know about the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Discussed:  How do you feel when something you build tumbles over? The Leaning Tower of Pisa is located in Italy.  Fun Facts:  The tower in Pisa, is famous simply because it leans.  It was closed to the public in 1990, after fears that an entire busload of tourists at the top would be enough to make it fall.  They corrected the lean a little bit eleven years later.  It stands 187 feet high. The lean was increased by 1 inch every 20 years.   A wealthy widow named Berta di Bernado, left sixty coins in her will to buy stones to begin the construction of the tower.  It is a bell tower to accompany the cathedral that it stands next to.  The tower is built on unsuitable ground for such a heavy and tall building.  It is only about 6 feet above sea level and built on a riverbed. The underlying ground is made up of layers of sand and clay. The layers are not even and the weight of the building has compressed them.  Because the layers are not even, as the ground has compressed, it has sunk more in some places than in others.

Visual Art:  Discussed:  What materials would you use to build a tower?  We used the starch noodles and toothpicks to show them how they could build a tower with them. 

Patterns:  Discussed:  What silly items do you think you could use to measure things?  Italy is known for pizza.  We looked at the slice of pizza pattern and used this to measure items in the room.  I had two children at a time go get an item.  We discussed if they thought it was bigger or smaller than the slice of pizza and then we measured them.  We did this with several items giving all the children a turn at picking an item.

Social Skills:   Discussed:  Do you think a building can have a story?   We discussed the story of the Lean Tower of Pisa.  Did you know that the Tower of Pisa took over 177 years to build because its construction was interrupted by wars?  We discussed names of different buildings and parks and why they might be named that.

Physical Science:  Discussed:  What might happen if a tower leans too much?  The Tower of Pisa was built on a sandy foundation which made one side of the building sink a little more each day.  We experimented building a tower with blocks on different surfaces.  We had rocks that we built on, a pillow, a stool, sand in a box, and the floor.  We counted the blocks to see which tower got the highest before it fell.  Discussed the best and worst surface to build on.

Afternoon Centers: Center 1: Outside play  Center 2: Tower building-  They will use the starch noodles, toothpicks and some water to stick starch noodles together to build a tower.  

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