The children in Year 3 were extremely excited by the Take One picture reveal last week. They were shown 5 pieces of the picture each day and after working out where each piece fitted they were able to see ‘ Men of the Dock ’ by The American realist artist George Bellows, painted in 1912.
Bellows arrived in New York in 1904 where he found rich subject matter in the lives of poor workers in the booming metropolis. Here, day labourers await jobs on the docks of Brooklyn on a grey winter morning. The towers of Lower Manhattan rise in the distance, along with the Brooklyn bridge which spans the East River from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
It was this bridge that inspired our learning this week, with the children keen to investigate different types of bridges and use the knowledge gained to design and build their own.
Before drawing our designs, we looked at the advantages and disadvantages of Log and Beam bridges, Arch bridges,Trestle bridges, Suspension and Cable stayed bridges, both in terms of materials used, cost and suitability for the job.
We soon discovered that triangles are a common shape used in bridge design due to their exceptional strength - out of all the two-dimensional shapes we can make only a triangle is rigid.
As you can see, triangles featured heavily in our finished bridges which were strong enough to hold three 500g cans !!