Direct Instruction

As part of our inquiry topic we looked at different parts of our community. This week we focused on the Panmure Bridge. This was an awesome opportunity for cross-cirricula planning and integration.

The part shown in the videos occured Monday morning. First we learnt about different types of bridges via a slideshow presentation, then the kids organised themselves into groups and made a physical bridge out of dry pasta, rubber bands and hot glue to show their understanding. The first video is a super sped up clip of one group problem solving their way to making their bridge.

The second clip was each group doing a bit of a 'summary' of what they had made and 3 quick things they learnt about bridges (E.g. its normally made from.. they are commonly found...)

Throughout the week we did lots of other bridge-related activities across reading, art and writing/drama. To show these I have linked each activity under each childs' name at the bottom of the page.

On Friday we walked down to see the actual bridge (and where the other two bridges used to be).

Extended plan here


What went well.


In the end each group could name their bridge and tell me something about it. The information was absorbed. Most of the class could name all 7 types of bridges we learnt about, and could identify them when shown an unlabelled picture using physical features.

Cross-cirricula links

Doing the drama really helped them understand how the swing bridge and toll system would have worked. Before we did the drama they couldn't really explain it to me. Afterwards, they could explain it in their own words and their understanding was evident in the recount they wrote about their pretend character from the drama.

Doing the art project gave them another opportunity to look at the physical features of bridges (tall/long/cables/shape/etc) and use these in their artwork. They all could name what kind of bridge they had done in their art.

What still needs work.

Scaffolding the activity more

The students who have been with me for two/three years are very used to having to physically make something to show their understanding. Sometimes I forget that I have new students who are not used to being asked 'so what are you going to make?' and sort of given freedom and left to their own devices. Hence, they sometimes sit around for a long time and aren't sure what to do. I need to remember to check that these students have a clear idea and plan, and check in with their progress regularly to see if they are stuck and need help.

Truss bridge

Arch bridge (it was hard to bend dry pasta)

Beam bridge

Cable-stay bridge

Suspension bridge (Again, it was hard to bend the pasta so they used rubber bands to represent the bending cables)

Swing bridge

Class Site Content

WALT summarise information

SC I can find the main ideas in a text and talk about them


Read through slidedeck with your class (led by teacher).

Create a summary of the new information. For example you could make a timeline, or write a paragraph summary.

Read through links on the 'Panmure Bridge' Google Drawing for additional information.


The history of Panmure bridge

'Panmure Bridge' Google Drawing'

WAL about different kinds of bridges.

WALT about different kinds of bridges
The history of Panmure bridge

Extra links

bridge drama.mp4

Toll-keeper's booth drama (Tuesday)

Learner Generated Content