I used a bridge-building project pretty effectively with English Language Learners.
First, students have seen pictures of bridges and written and spoken about them (of course, prior to that I’ve pre-taught some vocabulary)
Next, depending on their English level, they’ve used online interactives to build virtual ones.
Then, again depending on their English level, they created their own model bridges as a science experiment.
I’ve used this three step approach to organize the resources on this list.
(by the way, you might also be interested in The Best Sites For Learning About The Golden Gate Bridge)
Here are my choices for The Best Images Of Spectacular Bridges (& How Students Can Make Their Own):
The Bay Bridge, connecting Oakland and San Francisco here in California, is having part of its span replaced. The 1989 Earthquake caused its partial collapse. Bay Bridge 360 is documenting the new construction, including some pretty cool simulations.
The World’s Most Beautiful Bridges is a nice photo collection of…bridges.
Scary Bridges is the title of a slideshow from the News in Australia.
World’s Top Unique Bridges is a series of photos of pretty neat bridges from around the world.
The longest, tallest and oldest bridges in the world is a slideshow from The Telegraph.
Photo Essay: China’s Marathon-Length Bridge is from the PBS News Hour.
The Bridge Challenge
MAKING A BRIDGE:
I’ve had students make bridges in two ways.
With my Beginners, I’ve used a much simpler activity using a sheet of paper and an egg carton. You can find that lesson plan here.
Structures Around The World is a joint project of three international museums, including the Exploratorium. The website provides simple instructions for how students can create models of different structures, including bridges.
Building Bridges Of Hope is a very interesting article from Parade Magazine. It’s about Bridges to Prosperity, a nonprofit that constructs and repairs bridges in Asia, Africa, and South America. It doesn’t quite fit into this list, but I’m adding it here anyway. It would be a nice supplement to any unit on bridges.
Unusual Bridges For Animals – Wildlife Overpasses is a photo gallery from The World Geography.
Feedback is always welcome.
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