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.
 
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Learning objectives: 

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: 
Understanding

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)

References

Contributors: