In Unit 6, children learn about different materials and tools used in building as they investigate how houses and other structures are built. Through free exploration and guided, hands-on activities, children gain an understanding of the basic concepts of construction and an awareness of how people use different kinds of tools to make work easier and faster.
- Walls and Roofs (Week One). Children explore different materials used in building structures. They survey their environment to note the many different kinds of buildings and the use of shapes and patterns in the constructions. Children become aware of the different tools used in constructing a building and how these tools and machines help to make work easier for people. Children use various materials to build structures and discover that walls and roofs need support to stay up.
- Building High, Building Strong (Week Two). Children discover that how you design and build a structure can determine how strong it will be. Each day, they will build towers using a variety of traditional and nontraditional building materials. As children build, they will test the strength and stability of their towers and measure the height of their towers using standard and nonstandard tools. Children will continue to investigate the different parts and shapes of a structure by making 3D representations of structures they have seen.
- Building to Size (Week Three). In this final week of the building unit, children learn how to build for purpose. They move on to building structures with enclosures (a house for a toy) and bridges, using a variety of standard and nonstandard materials. Children continue to explore measuring and measurement tools and learn to estimate size as they build.
Children’s explorations will be supported through concepts in the read-aloud books they hear and the media they watch throughout the unit. Literacy skills such as concepts of print, phonological and phonemic awareness, story comprehension, and vocabulary will be practiced and supported through read-aloud and literacy-building activities. Children continue to learn strategies for problem solving, cooperation and planning, and getting along with others.