Every enrichment project is designed to allow students areas of personal choice and ways to exercise personal strengths. Mr. Mc Donald's fourth grade class worked with Mrs. Siller, the enrichment teacher, studying wooden truss covered Vermont bridges.
The main reference for this unit has been Spanning Time, Vermont's Covered Bridges by Joseph C. Nelson. In addition to detailed blueprints for the various truss designs, there are also beautiful pictures accompanied by historical narratives for all the remaining covered bridges in Vermont. Each student was provided with a copy of the history for a bridge that matched their choice of construction techniques for the balsa wood model.
Secondary reference material included several books by Eric Sloan and an Internet article on the history of covered wooden truss bridges from a global perspective. The whole class worked together to highlight key information from this article that was needed to answer the research questions.
Below is a brief description of the components of this project which were carried out in two weekly forty minute classes over a period of twelve weeks.