Overview


Subject/Sub-Subject: Social Studies/World History


Title: Greek Architecture in Washington, DC


Summary:

Students explore and analyze Greek architecture in Washington, DC. The students will look at pictures from the Library of Congress collection and search for other examples using the Library of Congress, Google images and books in the classroom.


Understanding Goal

Aspects of Greek architecture are used in the buildings of Washington, DC

Investigative Question

What can primary sources tell us about the use of Greek architectural styles in Washington, DC?

Grade(s): 3, K
Audience: General
Learners: A class of 23 third grade students with a wide range of abilities.
Required Vocabulary: N/A
Prior Content Knowledge: N/A
Standards

Virginia: Social Studies - Grade 3

VA.3.1. History: The student will explain how the contributions of ancient Greece and Rome have influenced the present world in terms of architecture, government (direct and representative democracy), and sports.

Field Tests

Click on the title to expand the description of each field test

Sources

Greek Architecture in Washington, DC

Understanding Goal

Aspects of Greek architecture are used in the buildings of Washington, DC

Click on an image for more information.

Slideshow Icon View as a slideshow
Parthenon from w. Washington, D.C. The National Archives building

Required Materials

Web Sites

Google Image Search

Supply Lists

-Smartboard

Directions

Introduction

Step 1 Show the picture of the Parthenon from the Library of Congress. Ask students to describe what they see. Use Zoom-In technique or the spotlight feature on a Smartboard to focus on particular areas of the building.
Step 2 List the components of Greek architecture the students know or observe in the picture.
Step 3 Show the picture of the National Archives in Washington, D. C. Have the students point out similarities between the Parthenon and the National Archives.
Step 4 Ask students which other buildings they know of in Washington that have been influenced by Greek architecture. Use the Library of Congress, Google images and books in the classroom to help make a list of buildings.

Web Sites

Best Instructional Practices


Understanding Goal

Aspects of Greek architecture are used in the buildings of Washington, DC

Investigative Question

What can primary sources tell us about the use of Greek architectural styles in Washington, DC?


Analysis of Student Learning


The children recognized the Parthenon right away. As we looked at the picture section by section, they noticed more details than I would have expected. They realized that the building was symmetrical in more than one way. They noticed the columns and quickly had many questions about how the Parthenon was built. They also recognized the use of geometric figures such as cylinders, triangular prisms, etc. I used the spotlight feature on a Smartboard and was amazed at the details they noticed when they looked only at one portion of the building at a time.


Analysis of Best Instructional Practices (learn more)

Literacy Instruction Literacy Instruction(learn more)

Visual

A prolonged look at the picture generated not only more discoveries about the architecture, but more questions about ancient Greece in general.

Teaching for Understanding Teaching for Understanding(learn more)

Explicit Understanding Goal

Looking at the picture of the Parthenon using the zoom-in or spotlight feature on a Smartboard helps students to focus in and to spend more time looking at details.

Technology Integration Technology Integration(learn more)

Content Presented

We displayed the image on a Smartboard which allowed us to use the markers to draw over the images in order to point out particular features. This could also be done by projecting the image on a white board or using an overhead transparency.

Whole Group Presentation

Searching the web for pictures of buildings gave the children immediate feedback. Because we could find them so quickly, the children were incredibly engaged and kept trying to think of other buildings they know in Washington, D. C.

Reflections and Recommendations


The students got very excited about searching for images of buildings they knew. Using the spotlight feature of the Smartboard software or the Zoom-In Library of Congress technique, we were able to look at portions of the picture to analyze and explore more deeply. When I told the children that our time for the activity had ended, they were disappointed. Many asked, "Can we PLEASE keep working on this another time?" With enthusiasm like that, I know my students are engaged. I was so inspired that I went home that night and put together a PowerPoint presentation of the buildings they had identified. I included an explanation of the architectural elements I found on the Internet. The next day, I used it as a review. I used the colored markers on the SmartBoard to draw in the architectural features they remembered from the day before. I might have the students continue their search when we go to the computer lab next week. We could make a multimedia tour book for Washington, D. C. so that a virtual visitor would understand the elements of Greek architecture.

Credits

Authors and Contributors

Karen Ready
Jamestown Elementary School, Arlington County Public Schools, Virginia

Library of Congress Items

Library of Congress items used in this Lesson Plan.

Thumbnail Library of Congress Item
Parthenon from w. Unknown. 1850-1880. Parthenon from w. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.
Washington, D.C. The National Archives building Bubley, E. 1943. Washington, D.C. The National Archives building. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.