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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?
In order to move boats from one elevation to another canals incorporated watertight chambers called locks. A series of locks connected two waterways. When the ship enters a lock, it is filled or drained of water to change the boats elevation and move it to the next level. Research the engineering of locks and discuss your findings.
Originally people called locktenders operated the lock system. They worked long, hard days to keep the locks running. Today locks are generally mechanized. Locks were originally constructed of timber and stone. Today locks are made of steel and concrete. Compare and contrast the changes in lock construction and operation. How have these changes impacted the canal system?
Using your research as a guide, work as a group to 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.
This powerful diorama pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrate his historic civil rights speech on the step
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