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Re: [teacherartexchange] Greek and Roman Architecture and Today

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From: Peggy Woolsey (eoolspeg_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Mar 08 2012 - 04:30:47 PST


Hi Sarah,
I always made architecture an important part of my high school
curriculum. I approached the unit in a building block sort of way. I
think the following could be adapted to middle school:
First, columns. There is so much history in the orders. I included
Minoan with Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Caryatids, because Minoan
pillars (so called, inverted) are so distinctive and are so
mysterious. (Arthur Evans wrote that they were stand-ins for the the
Goddess). I had students look at images of the various types of
columns and draw them. There are some great youtube films on the
building of the Parthenon and so on. Next, the gable roof of Greek and
Roman temples and civic buildings can be found in the standard post
and beam wood houses of the recent past in N. America. The standard
Greek pattern is everywhere around us. Have students look in their own
homes and neighbourhoods for these elements. Following the gable roof
of the early Greeks, the Romans developed the arch (arguably invented
by the Etruscans) and architecture took off. The arch made possible
large buildings, bridges, aqueducts and so on--the basis of our
Western architectural heritage. I constructed a set of wedged blocks
for students to make a free standing arch--always fascinating how that
keystone keeps everything together. After enough explorations (gothic
cathedrals, skyscrapers, etc. etc. however long your time is), I
finished the unit by having students create a blueprint of a building
that incorporated a choice of elements, that should be structurally
sound (lots of playing with straws and newspapers), aesthetically
pleasing, and purposeful. They would write up the elements used and
for what reasons. Sky's the limit on the exciting world of
architecture. There are lots of resources on line now. Have a great
time.
Peggy, 2 years retired and missing it sometimes.

On 8-Mar-12, at 12:31 PM, sarah k wrote:

> My seventh grade students are currently studying Ancient Greece and
> Rome. I would like to complete an architecture lesson focused on the
> influence of the style on buildings in the U.S. I plan to take the
> students through a "photo tour" of our city then ask them to design a
> new building for the city that includes aspects of Greek and/or Roman
> architecture.
> Does anyone have suggestions for materials to complete this activity
> (watercolor, pen and ink, pencil) or suggestions for resources for me
> to check out before presenting the background information to the
> students? I have never taught architecture or Greek or Roman art, but
> both are a part of the curriculum at my new school.
> Feel free to email me off the list.
> Thank you!
>
> Sarah Kerns
> Quincy, MA
>
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