Landmarks, Art & Architecture Unit-Week 1

For our last Unit of this year, my oldest requested to study Famous Buildings, Landmarks and Architecture. I loved the idea and got busy right away requesting a bunch of Library books!

Book List:

Architecture A Visual History by James Neal

Joan Steiner Look-A-likes:  Discover a Land where things are not as they appear… and Around the World ; An Album of Amazing Postcards

Monumental Versus by J. Patrick Lewis (poetry)

13 Buildings Children Should Know by Anette Roeder

Buildings in Disguise by Joan Marie Arbogast

Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting

Using both these books and worksheets found on in a “Let’s Travel” series we set out to visit the Landmarks!

                                                   First Stop: England!

We viewed and became familiar with Westminster Abbey, Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London and Big Ben.

History/Social Studies: Landmarks of England. Where is England? Using the World Atlas to locate England.

Language Arts: Copy work and discussed the following words:

England, London, Europe, Queen, British Monarchy, Gables

Math: My youngest built with blocks that had two landmarks on them : Stonehenge and the London Eye. Liam used the geo-boards to create the London Eye as well as some multiplication problems.

england 001blockengland 004 luke build

england 005 eye geoboard





Art: Re-created the look of Stonehenge with rocks from around the yard and constructed Tower Bridge with Clay and Pipe Cleaners.

england 006 stonehenge

Computer: Liam loves (to say the least) the game Minecraft, each day as we finish learning about some Landmarks he is re-creating them in “his world” within the game.










Next Stop: Greece!

Using the books -Architecture A Visual History and 13 Buildings Children Should Know and the World Atlas we took a look at The Parthenon!

History/Social Studies: Locate Greece on the Map. Using a worksheet from the same Travel set at, he matched the Landmarks to the locations on the map of Greece; The Parthenon, Meteora, Santorini, Delphi Theater and Mount Olympus, followed by a series of True and False questions.

Language Arts: Copy work of the following words: Athens, Greece, Greek Antiquity, Columns, The Parthenon, Doric, Iconic and Corinthian.

Art: After discussing the 3 types of Columns : Doric, Iconic and Corinthian- today’s art was photography! We drove around our local towns and looked for these types of columns! Here are the photos he took:

Greece 003Greece 004Greece 005Greece 006




Luke did watercolor painting on printouts of the columns and Liam also designed his own Parthenon on his game minecraft :Greece 001Greece 002

Science: Optical Illusions! We viewed a video and took a closer look at the design of the columns after reading about little tricks architects use in their designs that are not immediately apparent. The end columns are slightly thicker than the others, because they are better-illuminated than the others, it makes them appear thinner!

Math: Multiplication/Division using the pillars for math word problems. Measuring with a measuring tape to see just how tall the pillars stand.

pops bridgeNow in The United States!

We began with the story Pop’s Bridge about the Golden Gate Bridge. Followed by a closer look at The Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, The Chrysler Building and The Guggenheim Museum using the book 13 Building Children Should Know.

Language Arts: Poetry: Monumental Versus book by J. Patrick Lewis -I read the poem “Empire State Building” we then reflected on it and discussed the form of  First Person Narrative.  

The following were today’s copy work vocab/spelling words: San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, Modernism, Spiral.

Science: We discussed the design of the Guggenheim Museum and Frank Llyod Wright’s design which is a long spiral-shaped ramp in which visitors take an elevator to the top and simply walk down.  As a repeat from Greece we also talked about optical Illusions again as the building gets progressively wider towards the top.

Math: The term “Cross-Section” as well as some Division lapbook problems.

Art: Frank Llyod Wright as well as Joseph Strauss, designer of the Golden Gate Bridge, were both persistent against critics and branched out in a new direction. With this thought, I asked Liam to design his own “cutting edge, Modern, unlike anything seen before” structure!

He designed a Robot shaped building that would be a Museum for Electronics, Video games and Robots.robot desing

Next week Visits: France, Brazil, Thailand, Spain, New Zealand!

Week Three: India, Denmark, Portugal, China and Australia!

Brought to you by the letter A- “Aa” Andy Warhol and Arithmetic Patterns

Before Mr. Sun made his appearance today, we were already busy at work! Over the past few weeks Luke, who will be three in January, has been more and more interested in computer games, puzzles, patterns and loves reading books. I’m taking his cues as time to start with some basic introductions of preschool skills; games and activities to enhance early reading/math logic/motor skills. Time to take it to the next step with some more formal one on one time!

I had saved many months back a free download called Exploring Letters in My World by Teacher Book Bag. It is a hands-on approach using a variety of learning techniques.  It isn’t always free, but here is the site I got it from when they were having a special: Currclick.

Starting with the letter A! As I printed out a few pages to start with, I set him up at the computer to play on a terrific site called Starfall. He was giggling and repeating the phonetic sounds and saying “A” as he clicked along.





While he was enjoying himself, I started laminating the letter A, putting together some letter A cards and thinking of some game to play using the giant letter A page.

He came to the table and looked through the My Letter A Book, then I had an idea of coloring some salt and hiding the letter A under it so he could find it. Placed the laminated sheet on a tray and covered it with the salt. Then using the hand over hand method, we’d trace the letter together a few times. He loved finding it under the salt and shouted “A” and said “cool game, Mom!”

He did this repeatedly and had lots of fun doing it! With one more extension to this lesson I grabbed the popsicle sticks I had handy and laid them down on top  of the A for an added visual and a puzzle type of activity.










Andy Warhol study was next for my older son. We watched a short cartoon video via youtube, then I had found a downloadable booklet from an art museum that explained his pop art and contained a few images and excersizes. I have a few more books coming from the library to further study his life and art, so today was just a kick off! Learning about his work explored the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement. I asked Liam to think of TV, Pop Stars or a product he’d like to feature in his Warhol inspired piece that we were going to do today. Using one image or product and repeating it as Warhol did. Well, Beyblades are his favorite things right now, so we took photos of them and then used some editing (he chose the images, features and colors)and came up with this! Now it’s a poster on his bedroom wall.

” 4 Battling Beyblades”














The next “A” thing of our day today was to my amazement, much more than I had expected it to be.  I bought some geometric plastic shape pieces, and put them out on the table.  We all automatically started playing around with them.  Luke placed all the big yellow hexagons together and I said “hey, it looks like a caterpillar” to which he said “ooh, he’s hungry!” Referring to The Very Hungry Caterpillar story.

So, I made him a carrot. Then Luke said “now his stomach hurts.” So, I made him a nice green leaf! We continued doing this over an over for quite awhile, it was so fun and great lesson in size, shapes and colors as well as recalling the story!

Liam grabbed shapes and made a whole village and proceeded to make up an entire story about a village under attack! -” There was a guy with a sword and shield who came to attack the village and castle, he attacked two of the homes. The castle defended it using fire balls!  So, since the castle failed, they paid the two houses to buy them to make new taller and safer homes. ”

As the story was told in sequence the shapes were moved around to match the story being told.

And they all lived happily ever after……

More on learning math through play