Integrated Arts Series: Lesson 9 - Structure and Architecture - MetroFamily Magazine
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Integrated Arts Series: Lesson 9 – Structure and Architecture

by Oklahoma A+ Schools

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

Thanks to our friends at Oklahoma A+ Schools, we’re continuing a year-long series of easy, fun and engaging arts integration activities that kids and families can enjoy together. For this ninth installment, we’re exploring structure.

Bonus: Integrating the arts with students’ everyday academics is proven to increase comprehension and retention!

Structure and Architecture

A structure is something that is constructed. A building is an example of a structure. It is arranged in a pattern of organization. Architecture is the process and product of planning, designing and constructing structures. Architects plan and design buildings for a certain purpose. A house is designed to be lived in. A library is designed to hold books, provide space to read and places to check out books to take home. A school is designed for learning. Think about your school or home. What rooms does it have? How do you get from place to place? Think about why an architect may have designed your school or home the way they did.

Creating Structure with Unusual Materials

Plan, design and construct a structure using only marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti noodles. You will need those materials, plus a pencil and paper.

We will be working with two- and three-dimensional objects. A two-dimensional, or 2D, object has only height and width, meaning it is flat. In visual art, this is called a shape. A three-dimensional, or 3D, object has depth, which gives it volume, like a cube. In visual art, this is called a form.

1. Look at a photo of a building. What two-dimensional shapes do you notice? Draw each of those shapes on a piece of paper.

2. Make 2D shapes with marshmallows and uncooked noodles. Use your materials to make flat shapes that can lay on the ground or table. Look at your reference photos. What shapes are easy to make? Which ones are more difficult?

3. Turn your 2D shapes into 3D shapes. Look at the room you are in. It most likely has four walls, a floor and a ceiling. That is a cube, a 3D shape. Now that you have made a base, make other squares with your material and connect them to make a cube. Practice making other 3D shapes, like turning your triangles into the base of a pyramid.

4. Plan and design your building. Now that you have worked with your materials, imagine a larger structure you could make by joining more 3D shapes. Draw the structure you would like to create.

5. Construct your structure. Using your materials or other materials of your choice, build the structure you drew, using the plan you made as a reference. If part of your design doesn’t work, think about how you could adjust it.

Share your work. We want to see your structures! Share them on Facebook @okasailbox, OKA+ Schools Institute, or email them to aplusmail@uco.edu.

Integrated arts activities are created by certified teachers and provided by Oklahoma A+ Schools to meet the Oklahoma Academic Standards across multiple content areas. Find more activities at metrofamilymagazine.com/integrated-arts and share your creations with us on social media by tagging MetroFamily and OKA+ Schools Institute! 

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