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  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat

  • Lesson: Design and construct a small canoe using simple materials such as tin foil, plastic wrap, craft sticks, masking tape and balsa wood hat will withstand a three-minute float test.
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    • About This Series
      In the Classroom is a series of photography-driven reports on lessons taught in local elementary schools. If you have an idea, please send it to Heidi Monjure at hmonjure@ashlandnet.net.
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      About This Series
      In the Classroom is a series of photography-driven reports on lessons taught in local elementary schools. If you have an idea, please send it to Heidi Monjure at hmonjure@ashlandnet.net.
  • Lesson: Design and construct a small canoe using simple materials such as tin foil, plastic wrap, craft sticks, masking tape and balsa wood hat will withstand a three-minute float test.
    After living with a 12-foot red canoe in their fifth-grade classroom, Trish Dorr's 26 students at Helman Elementary School were ready to start plans for their own small canoes. Teams of two or three young boat builders developed and agreed on a design. Detailed designs were sketched and labeled. Teams determined which simple everyday materials they needed and construction began.
    Masking tape was wrapped around craft sticks to create the sides, while plastic wrap or tin foil was wrapped around the balsa wood hulls. Lengths and widths were discussed. The shape of the bow and stern were considered. After four days of design work, it was time to test their creations.
    Design teams gathered around the 12-foot canoe to begin the three-minute float test. In the center of the large canoe's hull was a large container of water, the testing lab for today's newly designed canoes. Before launching, students asked questions of the canoe building teams. "Why did you use tin foil instead of plastic wrap?" "How did you create the shape of the bow?" Gently each canoe was placed in the water. The stopwatch started ticking off the three minutes while students sang "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."
    Observations and results were recorded. Tomorrow would be test No. 2: Can your canoe carry weight for three minutes? Most designers were confident.
    — Heidi Monjure
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