Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Ivy read the story "A Summer In Shapeville" from the text and found that it did not contain concepts that were new to her. She reviewed the "dictionary" section and found 4 words that were entirely unfamiliar, which she studied (buttress, chassis, gusset, strut). After that point we moved on to different resources to better support hands on learning on this topic.

The two books that we found most helpful were:
- The Ultimate Building Book by Stephen Caney and
- Arty Facts: Structures, Materials & Art Activities by Barbara Taylor

Other books we dipped into and remembered to record:
- Great Wonders of the World, Russell Ash
- Bridges!, Johnmann & Rieth
- Egypt in Spectacular Cross Section, Stephen Biesty
- Castles, Christopher Gravett
- The Great Pyramid, Elizabeth Mann
- Empire State Building, Elizabeth Mann

Here are some samples of work Ivy has done on the topic of "Structures". There were many others and she has listed most of them in her review of the unit (handed in).

Stick House
The Stick House idea came from the "Arty Facts" book. Ivy chose the materials and design to match a tropical location (the Amazon). Her ideas on why the house might be on stilts included protection from animals, floods and to catch breezes. Other features she noted were the open doors and windows because it's warm and a ladder to the loft in case it was better for sleeping.

Some of the bigger challenges she faced were finding a suitable roof material, attaching the siding and making sure it would balance and be sturdy enough once the stilts were on.

Ivy continued to add to her Stick House scene. The little shelters were made from popsicle stick tripods, covered by tissue.

Ivy likes to skim through the SAS Survival Manual we have at home. Along with great information on edible plants and first aid, it has a section on making your own simple shelters. She asked if we could try one so we chose the "tripod" shelter with tarp. We used bamboo poles for our three legs, lashed them together with twine and placed the tarp over top. The edges are held down by stones and logs. It didn't stand up all through a windy night but all the pieces were intact and it was easily reassembled. Nobody volunteered to sleep in this one.

A highway scene with overpass and scenery. This project was promptly donated to Ezra who enjoyed zooming his cars and airplanes
around it.

See also Island of the Blue Dolphin post for beach house.

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