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A group of volunteers assemble a simple wooden structure using basic tools and materials - and a set of instructions. To start with, the pieces of wood are measured and cut into the lengths needed, using tape measures and saws. The group sets out the corner posts, securing them by digging earth foundations and checking they're upright by using a spirit level. The lengths of timber are joined together using hammers and nails. A technique called 'splicing' is used to join two lengths of wood together to make longer lengths needed for the building. Once the outer frames of the walls are made, diagonal bracing is nailed in position to give added strength and to keep the structure stable in windy conditions. Finally, rafters are added to make a framework for the roof.
This clip is from:
Making Things Move, Building Shelters
First broadcast:
23 March 2010

Classroom Ideas

This clip could be used when looking at strengthening of materials. The teacher could ask the children to identify how the structure is strengthened in the clip and then ask the children to make smaller versions of this using rolled up newspaper. Can be used in a Literacy topic for instructional writing, asking the children to write a set of instructions on how to build the wooden shelter or a manual titled, 'How to...' Then following the written manual or set of instructions, the children could make a smaller version of the model from the clip, using either dowel, newspaper rolled up or art straws. The clip can be run in shorter sections to look in more detail at each stage in the process while pupils work through their own topic.