Will the Leaning Tower Fall?

Students research the Tower of Pisa and write a report about its history. Then they examine the physics of why it leans and whether it might fall. Finally, they plan a trip to Italy to see the Tower and develop an itinerary and budget for the trip. Great cross-curricular lesson plan. Requires students to research and write about the history of the Tower of Pisa, but also addresses many math standards - measuring, graphing, budgeting...

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3003.3.1
Write in a variety of modes, with particular emphasis on persuasion, for different purposes and audiences.
CLE 3003.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
GLE 0406.4.4
Understand the representation of location and movement within the first quadrant of a coordinate system.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 


Students will:

  • Research the Internet to learn about the Tower of Pisa.
  • Write a report about the history of the Tower.
  • Review the use of a graphing calculator, and then use the calculator to determine the height of the Tower.
  • Learn or review how to use Geometer's Sketchpad, and then use the software to explore what might cause the Tower to fall.
  • Write a report about their analysis of the Tower.
  • Use the Internet to plan a trip to Italy, and then create an itinerary and budget for the trip.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints

Materials Needed:

  • Student Internet access
  • TI-83 graphing calculator
  • Geometer's Sketchpad software
  • TI-83 and Sketchpad "Survival Guides" (provided at the project Web site)
  • Planning a Trip worksheet (outline provided at the project Web site)