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Architectural Relief Tiles

Students study building design, learning new vocabulary, then put their learning to work as they present relief tiles of architecture studied.

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
    Grades 7 and 8
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Students make a foundation of Crayola® Model Magic®, at least a 6-inch (15 cm) square and 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick.
    2. Students roll coils of Model Magic to make raised parts of buildings. Attach pieces firmly to the base.
    3. Students pinch or pull architectural details out of the base or additional modeling material. Score the compound or make cross hatches with a plastic fork, toothpick, or other modeling tools. Use plastic straws, chop sticks, or textured items to cut away or press in surface details. Be creative.
    4. After the Model Magic is dry, cover the work area with recycled newspaper. Paint the tiles with Crayola Watercolors and Brushes.
  • Standards

    LA: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

    LA: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    MATH: Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume.

    SCI: Solve design problems by appropriately applying scientific knowledge.

    SCI: Use grade-level-appropriate understanding of mathematics and statistics in analyzing data.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.

    VA: Select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas.

    VA: Describe and place variety of art objects in historical an cultural contexts.

    VA: Analyze, describe, and demonstrate how factors of time and place influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art.

  • Adaptations

    Students research famous architects such as Palo Soleri or Frank Lloyd Wright. In their research, students discover the artistic elements and principles of visual organization that are typically found in the architects' works. Students describe these elements using appropriate mathematical and scientific knowledge. Student research can be organized as a paper-and-pencil project or as an electronic file for previewing by classmates.

    Students choose an architectural style to study in-depth. During this study, students find pictures of buildings that represent that style. Students compare and contrast each of the buildings. Student presentations can be created as electronic files for previewing by classmates.

    Invite an architect to speak with the class or Skype at a mutually convenient time. Students will prepare and organize questions for the speaker prior to the event. Students write a summary of the interview for future reference.

    Students observe the construction of a building in their school, neighborhood, or town. Digital pictures should be taken in order to document the stages of construction and materials used or student sketches. A summary paragraph should accompany each photo or sketch, including the mathematical features and concepts of physics included in the process.

    Students interview the mayor of their town and/or members of the town council regarding the building history of the town. Questions such as what building codes are in place today that may not have been in place when an older building was constructed should be asked, as well as why the building code was changed or updated. What future updates do the council members foresee as necessary and why? A written summary should be completed, as well as an electronic file documenting the buildings studied.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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