Building Beautiful Buildings is an exemplary Smithsonian History Explorer's history story and set of activities, that supports the Common Core Standards of creatively problem solving and addresses these specific Literacy Common Core Standards:
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Architects design the buildings we use every day. Their designs solve problems, like how to make a sturdy building, and reflect their ideas about beauty and history.
This OurStory activity set invites students to explore history and architecture together while reading the book Julia Morgan Built a Castle, by Celeste Davidson Mannis. This book, written for grades K-8, is about one of America's first women architects. Julia designed almost 800 buildings during her career. After reading this book and talking about buildings in your community, there are several additional suggested activities to tie the architecture of buildings into Art, Math, and Geography.
- Paper Houses - Take the architect's challenge! Try three different ways of representing your home on paper.
- Searching for Symmetry and Scale - Take a close look at two drawings of a famous building.
- Shape Up - How many different shapes can you find by looking at a building?
- House Hunting - Use a field guide to see the buildings in your neighborhood through the eyes of an architect!
The activities address these specific Math Common Core Standards:
- CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.5 Count to answer "how many?" questions
- CSS.Math.Content.KG.A.1 Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects
- CCSS.Math.Content K.G.A.2 Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size
- CCS.Math.Content.2.MD.D.9 Generate measurement data
- CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.A.1 Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools
Question - How do you envision using Building Beautiful Buildings, a Smithsonian's History Explorer resource with your students? Can you think of any ideas for extending this resource and enhancing student learning?