Interdiscplinary Unit

One Building to Change My Community

Teach This Unit

One Building to Change My Community combines five subjects into a multidisciplinary unit. The sequence of the unit builds on the individual skills and standards of each lesson and brings these together into one project: One Building to Change My Community. The recommended sequence for the lessons is:

  1. English Language Arts: Historic Landmarks: Research and Writing
    After students have practiced research and writing skills in the English Language Arts lesson, assign students to research local buildings and their impact on your community. This provides historical context for students to propose a building in the Social Studies lesson.
  2. Social Studies: Build Something Better: Economic Impacts of Development
    Based on their research on historical context in the English Language Arts unit, students will propose an architectural solution (e.g., new building, renovation, plaza, courtyard) for their community. Have students create a draft proposal that will be finalized at the end of the unit.
  3. Art: Make Your Mark: Design With a Purpose
    Students should use their understanding of historical context and economic development to inform brainstorming for their designs.
  4. Mathematics: It’s in the Details: Math and Scale
    Once students have begun designing their buildings in the Art lesson, have students create scale drawings of their designs.
  5. Science: Catenary Curves: Scientific Investigations
    After students have created a design, have them design and conduct an investigation related to the design of their building. Suggestions for topics to be investigated include shape (as in the catenary curve experiment), building materials (e.g., bricks, steel, etc.), or environmental considerations (e.g., shading devices, energy consumption).
  6. Final Project: One Building to Change My Community
    Students will finalize their drawings (Mathematics) to include on their posters (Social Studies). Posters should include information about community context, including history (English Language Arts) and an explanation of what they learned about their building investigation (Science). Students should present their posters with a model (Art) of their building.