Thursday, September 4, 2014

Architecture School: Day 7

Today is Thursday. Most Thursday mornings we will be doing co-cop this year. But co-op hasn't started yet, so we did another day of Architecture school. We didn't do as many days this summer as I had hopped, so I am happy to continue through the school year when we can.

The next lesson from Architecture: It's Elementary! was about measurements and....a little bit boring. So I came up with our own lesson plan. I wanted the boys to actually experience the problems with non-standardized measurements.

We started with paces. I told them about how they used to be used to measure distances. I made a mark with chalk on the back patio, then asked them to take one step forward and I marked that. Then we compared the size of our pace. Then I had them count paces from the line to the edge of the patio. I declared that the space was four paces long, Builder Boy said it was five paces long, and Early Bird insisted it was seven paces long. Who was right? Then I asked them, what if I wanted to buy some land from Builder Boy? What if I bought four paces by four paces; who's paces would we use to measure? What if I thought I was paying for four of my paces, but I only received four of Builder Boy's paces of land; what then?

Then I told them about how our modern measurement of a foot was based on feet. Each boy got a stick and I cut a stick for each of them the length of their foot. I also wrapped masking tape around the middle for a half mark. They then measured various things, but the kept coming up with different numbers.

After several attempts at various objects, I then gave them the $0.24 wood rulers I picked up at Wal-mart a few weeks ago. They measured with standard rulers and behold! Their results were the same; no more conflicting numbers. They then had fun measuring more and more things. When they had had their fill of measuring, I showed them this video on YouTube put out by NASA. It covered they same things I had told them, but with more detail and data. It also mentioned Ancient Egypt, which was a good tie in to our history, since we're reviewing what we learned about Ancient Egypt last year this week.

This may sound like a quick and simple lesson, but it lasted us around 45 miuntes, and we had some really good discussions.

We didn't work on the art project from the last lesson this time around. And if you've been wondering if dried playdough would do the No it does not.

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