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DT (Thursday)

Week 1 

Lesson 1 (21.1.21)

  • I can explore ways to make paper stronger

  • I explore some of the techniques that could make my bridge stronger

  • I can record my observations in order to draw conclusions.  

You will need


pennies or other identical weights (blocks, pieces of pasta, paper clips etc)

Books to rest your bridge on/between. 

Optional - a selection of other materials such as foil or card. 

Watch - Learn What Makes Bridges So Strong

Watch - Learn Which shape is the strongest

Can you create a strong bridge with just a sheet of paper?

What could we try out? How could we investigate?

Learn about testing from an engineer


Activity 1

Now build and test your own paper bridges with pennies or pieces of pasta. 
Can you find out for yourself which shape is the strongest? 
What material works the best? 


Top tips 

  • Only use 1 sheet of paper per bridge

  • Fold the paper to change the thickness.

  • Fold or roll the paper to change its shape.

  • Layer/put several pieces of paper together. You can cut one single sheet into smaller strips and layer those on top of each other. 

Working together on the task and comparing results can be fun

Activity 2 

Ask your child to write what happened to each bridge or record the number of weights it did manage to hold.

Learn more about recording and what else you could try

Week 2 (28.1.21)


Lesson 2

  • I can build a beam bridge to help the gingerbread man cross the river.
  • I can explore ways I could make my bridge more stable.
  • I can draw a plan to send to the gingerbread man.

For Activity 1 you will need 

- sheets of paper

- tape/glue stick/paper clips/stapler 

- weights to test on top of the tower such as books, CDs, DVD boxes (whatever you choose try to collect items of similar weight/thickness/size and it helps if they are flat. 


For Activity 2 you will need 

- a selection of recycled materials (tubes, yoghurt pots, bottles, tins, card, corks, paper, sticks) 

- you might also have construction sets you could make use of e.g. wooden blocks, k'nex, Lego etc but this is not required for this activity.  

- scissors

- tape


Learning about bridges together

Ask - Can you design and make a beam bridge to help the Gingerbread man to cross the river?

Explain/discuss the gingerbread man’s needs and create a design criteria together.

  • It must reach from one bank to the other.

  • A beam bridge should have columns or supports at each end.

  • The columns or supports should be freestanding (can stand on their own without being stuck to the table)

  • A beam bridge needs to have a deck so the gingerbread man won’t fall through the frame. 


Ask - He has also asked if you can you find out which shape would make the strongest supports for your bridge before you start? Cuboids, cylinders or triangular prisms? Watch the clips to find out how you could investigate this. 

Find out how to test which shape would make the strongest supports

Activity 1 - Make Paper Columns and test them

You will need paper or card and tape or glue available to make their own columns (paperclips might also be used if you have no tape or glue). Your child might need help with where to fold the paper to make a cuboid or triangular prism.

Activity 2 - Using what you found out and the following tips in the document below, build your final beam bridge for the gingerbread man.