Notre Dame de Paris is one of the most recognized cathedrals in the world. Read about it on pages 12-13. The Cathedral has changed appearance over the last 800 years. The last remodel was lead by Victor Hugo. This is when the gargoyles were added to the decoration. You might recognize Victor Hugo's name because he wrote the Hunchback of Notre Dame.


Reading for Gothic II


Complete reading the book Cathedral this week. Once again take special note of the construction materials and methods.

Measuring Up

Writing paper
Ruler, tape measure, or yardstick

What if the doorknobs in the world were three inches from the floor, or tables were only two feet height? We would probably suffer from severe back pain! But buildings have been designed to conform to human scale. in fact, measurements were devised from human feet and digits (toes and fingers), and everything we touch has been built to meet our needs and desires. This math project helps students explore the standard measurements of surrounding places.

1.You and your parents arm yourself with paper, pencils, and a measuring device.

2. Have your team measure the room to answer the following questions:

  • How high is the seat of your chair from the floor?
  • How high is the surface of your desk or table from the floor?
  • How wide is the door?
  • How high is the door?
  • How high is the window?
  • How wide is the window?
  • How high is the stair step? (the part of a step that your foot lands on)
  • How high is the stair tread? (the part of the step that raises the tread) also called a riser.

3. After measurements have been collected, discuss the findings and compare results. Topics to talk about might include the following:

  • Can you find some standard sizes?
  • What would happen if the doors were shorter?
  • What if the table was taller?
  • How do these measurements cater to the sizes and abilities of different people?

My son and a friend found this passage way and deemed it a Hobbit Hole. The medicine ball was larger than the hallway. A little out of scale.

Exercise From Good Apple

It's All Relative

One fascinating aspect of space is scale - and scale is a relative experience. To a mouse, we're gigantic monsters, but to a dinosaur we'd be pre-dinner appetizers. A piece of chocolate cake might appear enormous when placed on a small saucer but look tiny on a platter. How do you make a big object look small and a small object look big? This experiential activity explores scale and illustrates that it's all a matter of relationships.

1. Select everyday objects from their work areas (pencils, paper clips, books, markers, chairs).
2. Place the objects in relationship to other things (put a pencil next to a crayon and then place it near the paper clip).
3. Select two different situations for an object (put a book on a small table and then place it in the middle of the floor).
4. Discuss how and why an object seems big or small depending on its position (Why does the book seem larger when it's alone on the table and smaller when it's in the middle of the floor?)

Optional Activity
After discussing how "big" you feel while sitting in your study space, obtain a different perspective by making a field trip to a high point in town (a tall building, top of a stadium, high hill looking over a community). Compare how different one feels when in a room verses looking down at something.