First grade has embarked on a voyage to understand what makes a boat float. In the last few months we have examined what it takes to make a boat; float, sail, and move in the water. The students have tackled different challenges along the way from design of the boat to figuring out how to attach a sail to the boat.

For this assignment we studied shapes of boats and made observations about the shape and sizes of common boats. We investigated into the different materials that boats can be made of and leaned how it is that a boat made of metal can float. Students made observations about the shapes and placement of sails on boats and how the sails work for the boats.

Using donated popsicle sticks we began attempting to create volume and shape to our vessel. Based on the research we conducted we knew that wood was a good material to build a boat from. We added some styrofoam to help up tie in the mast and we attached these with a little adult help and some hot glue. To finish the project up we cut fabric to a sail shape and made the necessary attachments to the mast.

In the end we took all of these mini lessons and over time put  that knowledge into the hands of a first grade nautical engineer and designer. We had fun with making unique shaped boats and designing sails out of some crazy fabric. In the end this voyage of leaning was a success. All we have left now is to test the seaworthiness of these newly constructed vessels. Great job 1st grade!

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