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Why do canals incorporate locks? Find the "key" to lock engineering with this art-infused lesson plan.
Canals allowed boats to transport goods through man-made connective waterways. The canal system allowed freight to be moved more quickly and efficiently than in the past. Why was the canal system more effective than previous modes of transportation? Invite students, working in small groups, to research canal systems. Organize text and electronic resources for students to view for this research.
Student groups organize their research into a presentation format in preparation for sharing their learning with classmates. When all presentations are complete, students discuss their new knowledge about canals, ships, watertight chambers, locks, etc.
Using research as a guide, groups construct a representation of lock system out of Model Magic® and recycled materials. Model Magic that is fresh from the pack will stick to itself. Dried pieces can be glued together. Incorporate recycled materials like cardboard or craft sticks to build the chambers. Create boats from modeling compound to bring the model to life. Add additional recycled materials to replicate water and other canal features.
While Model Magic is drying, groups compose a summary paragraph of their learning about canals. Display student lock system representations and writing in a school hallway for peers to view.
This powerful diorama pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrate his historic civil rights speech on the step
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