Lesson 3

A Sticky Situation: Designing Walls

Testing Mortar / Grade 2 / Hollywood, FL

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - A Sticky Situation: Designing Walls - Lesson 3

Students perform controlled experiments to identify properties of a variety of mortar samples created from Earth materials.

Reflection Questions

When might a “virtual wall walk” be a better option than going outside to observe walls in the neighborhood?

Consider creating a “virtual wall walk” if your school neighborhood is unsafe, if walls are scarce or all of the same type, or when weather prevents outside excursions.

  • Chentel’s school campus was large and flat, and the only walls were those holding up the school building.
  • Most of the walls in Chentel’s Florida community were covered with cement and then painted. The cement coating concealed the underlying brick and mortar construction.
  • By observing the photographs of walls that Chentel collected, students learned about different types of walls and how mortar is used to hold bricks and stones in place.

What process does Chentel use to help her students understand and reflect on the results of their mortar sandwich tests?

Chentel asks for predictions before each test and makes sure that all groups are involved in data collection and have a chance to share their personal findings. Then, she helps the class come to a consensus.

  • Each pair of children tests their own mortar sandwiches and counts to 30 seconds to see how long they stick. (8:13)
  • Chentel asks individual groups to share the results of their tests, and then has them try to explain what happened. (8:30)
  • After hearing the results of each group, Chentel has students discuss and rate the overall performance of each mortar material. (9:49)