Bridge Builders

Bridge Builders lesson plan

Build bridges and friendships! Plan and construct a bridge with this constructive lesson that’s inspired by a Maya Angelou book set in Paris.

  • 1.

    Research bridges around the world and in your area. Look for the Parisian architecture (and friendship overtures) shown in Reneé Marie of France, for example. Identify oblique, arch, suspension, cable, and covered bridges. Locate them on maps.

  • 2.

    Make half a bridge. With Crayola Markers, sketch your vision for one side of a bridge that includes a representation of or sign about: a. a fear you would like to overcome b. a favorite activity c. a favorite person or possession d. something you dislike

  • 3.

    After your sketch is complete, use Crayola Model Magic and drinking straws (cut them with Crayola Scissors into any size you need) to construct your bridge half. Model Magic that is fresh from the pack sticks to itself.

  • 4.

    Find a partner. Collaborate with a classmate to figure out how to connect the space between your bridge halves. Sketch the span first, erasing to make any needed changes. Be inventive and include one common bond that you have with your partner.

  • 5.

    Create the span you designed. You may want to place your construction on cardboard for stability. Cut posterboard sections or signs and decorate them with markers. Place them on the bridge. Air-dry your bridge overnight.

  • 6.

    With your partner, explain to your classmates each other’s bridge section and the common bonds you discovered during your construction.


  • Children explore world architecture while incorporating literature, math skills, the visual arts, and geography.
  • Students work in pairs to construct replica bridge portions and then span their sections using features about themselves as individuals and as a team.
  • Students connect with other students and develop new friendships.


  • Assemble a class book incorporating photos of bridges, maps, and information about their designers.
  • Plan, set up, and act as docents at an art show for your school or community. Introduce your partner at the show.
  • Assessment: Observe the bridge-building process for completion as directed, creativity, and teamwork.