Bridge Project


This lesson began with the desire to create a project based learning activity.

The general game plan is located here on google slides. 

Most students were working in groups, so getting along, making construction and design decisions was a big part of the assignment.

The project would require working in groups, drawing skills, estimating skills, construction skills,  computer work,  and writing ability.

It starts off some research about bridges in Dayton, then some quick research on truss bridges.

The research looked like the above.  Students with Chromebooks researching on the net and composing a brief, illustrated report on google docs.

My assignment to them was to go to a google search page, type in “mr. tayse” then go to the tab on the class website that had the assignment.

That leads to drawings of bridges.


After doing research about bridges in the Dayton area and then truss bridges in particular, I told the students they were to draw examples of truss bridges to be constructed with popsicle sticks.  They have built modular constructions using paper before, so this was not difficult for them to grasp.


After the drawing was done, and the estimate of how many sticks would be required,  I had the students lay some thin sheets of cellophane/plastic over the drawing. My thought was if they arranged wood and glue constructions upon the drawing, the bridge sides would glue to the paper, whereas the cellophane would pull away more easily.  This worked fine.


The above shots are pretty self explanatory, students assembling and posing with their creations.


It’s interesting to see the level of complexity and the solutions being devised for the making of a bridge. I talked about simple and complex structures, and bridges being designed with more emphasis upon aesthetics(looking pretty), as opposed to to a purely mechanical solution for spanning a gap.

This what the process looks like, pretty chaotic, messy, and noisy.  Glue being squeezed, wood being cuts, and details about bridge construction being discussed and argued about.


In the pics above you can see the students assembling the truss sides.

Most of the group work went pretty well and there were certainly more smiles than frowns.



In the pics above you can see the bridge as separate trusses, the roadbed, and the final bridge, just about fully assembled.


Below are some finished bridges.

The head gear was being worn for a reading activity.  The bridge looks to have quite a bit of extra, non essential construction at the top, just to make it look nice.

The above pics are finished student bridges.  Some were painted and some solutions to building a bridges were more mechanical and straight forward in nature.   Some were more concerned with the overall look and aesthetic of the bridge.  This is pretty much like the real world.

I wonder how many students will look at bridges a little more closely after this project?


3re, 4th and 5th Grade Weaving



Her first piece of woven cloth!

Ms. Addison C was one of the first people to finish. Well woven, tied off, and done!

It might be small, but Jaxson did a pretty good job here.

Ms. Addison in 3rd did a great job here on her first woven piece.

I’ve taught weaving for quite some time.  Besides begin a nice activity for some, it adds to vocabulary with such words as loom, warp, weft, alternate, etc. It also gives me a chance to bring up the industrial revolution and point out that before machines all cloth was made by hand.

It starts with just wrapping string around a piece of cardboard.  The students have to measure every half inch to get the spacing right. This is called the warp of the loom.

Then it simply a matter of weaving a string over and under the warp, this is called the weft.


Looks like someone just getting started.


Here is someone cutting notches into a piece of cardboard to make a simple loom.


Pretty reasonable progress for just 2 days!

He’s really steaming along!

It definitely a group activity.

I believe this is 3rd grade.  This is the first time I’ve done weaving with all the third grades, going fine so far.

An almost finished piece

This is what the process looks like, students hunched over pieces of cardboard, string and yarn everywhere.

Nice peice, just about ready to remove from loom.

She did a great job here tyeing off and finishing the weaving.

Congratulations to Amelia W!

Congratulations to Amelia W!

An artist from amoung us at Bethel entered and won a prize in an art contest sponsored by the Tipp City Area Arts Council. 

Below is the wonderful picture of a butterfly she did.  Thanks to her parents for the encouragement and driving the piece in.  Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!



Mono-Printing, Fall 2017


I’ve started out every year with printmaking for the past few years now.  It involves paint/ink, making a mess and the potential to learn a new method of working and some new vocabulary.  We talk about mono printing, relief printing, and intaglio printing along with learning such words as, carve, brayer, plate, Plexiglas, ink, etc.

We start with mono printing

Here the students is applying the ink/paint.

Next is using the brayer to roll the ink out evenly

Here the student is just making a quick scribble because I’m taking pictures to show the various steps the student has to go through for the making of a mono print

In this step the paper is being laid gently down on plate with the design.

Then the pulling of the print.

Here’s the final piece.  It goes pretty quick and the students have to take turns going around the table.


This is a short vid of a a young student making a mono-print.



Creating a Game With Game froot

Flowlab Game and Animation Building

The online program Flowlab is for creating games and animations.

Scratch Game and Animation Building

This page is still in edit


The online program Scratch is used to build animations and games.