Lesson Plan: “How is power expressed in architecture?” (Elementary)

United States of America National Curriculum
Grade: 5
Time: 12 sessions

The purpose of this lesson is to design a new governmental building. The project will be based on democratic principles such as inclusion. During 5th grade, students from New York City public elementary schools study “how geography determines culture and how issues of power, wealth and morality influence exploration and colonization”(US National Social Science Standards). The central focus and purpose of this learning segment is to teach students how power is expressed in architecture. Students will analyze and compare examples from architectural works from Frank Gehry to government buildings from different historical epochs spanning Ancient Middle Eastern Architecture to the White House. The standards and learning objectives in my lesson unit help students to create and respond to visual art by incorporating form and structure, production, art context and personal perspective. They analyze different types of forms such as geometric and organic. Students develop their abilities to create and respond to visual art concepts by applying the technique of perspective, bird-eye’s view in order to structure their building design project.

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Students from 5th. Grade discuss about what democracy means and compare it to monarchy. They design a non-democratic governmental building as a first step of this lesson.

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Students analyze the work of contemporary architect Frank Gehry. They fold a paper to create a form in order to design a democratic governmental building.

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Finished scale model of a contemporary design project for The White House.

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Students learn the technique of perspective.

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