This is a Clilstore unit. You can link all words to dictionaries.



Aims of lesson:

  1. To understand how a structure works.
  2. To recognize and identify the different structural efforts.
  3. To describe the different structures (shape, elements,etc)

Students will know about... 


  • Strengths and structure 

Students will know about

Learning Resource or Activity


Concept of strength and structure.

Task 1: discovering forces and structures. (in groups)

In groups, students will think on different structures and what forces act upon them.


Type of structures and conditions that have to fulfill.

Task: Let´s look for structures! (in groups)

In groups, students will look in the internet for images of the diverse types of structures.


Students will know about

Learning Resource or Activity


The different types of efforts, as well as the answer of the different material to the efforts.

Interactive: Laboratory efforts.


Interactive: Laboratory material.

Laboratory to experiment and understand the different efforts.

Interactive Laboratory to experiments with the diverse material with which structures can be done.



Multiple choice

An online multiple choice test.



Students will know about

Learning Resource or Activity


The basic structural elements, the unions between the elements and the importance of triangulation in structures.

Interactive: Laboratory of shapes


Laboratory that compares different geometrical shapes in terms of resistance and stability.

Interactive Laboratory to experiments with the diverse material with which structures can be done.



Multiple choice

An online multiple choice test.



Pay attention to your teacher, she/he will guide you throughout the unit and will give you instructions on how to perform the activities.


REMEMBER: click on the "NEW VOCABULARY" button to have a list of new terms and concepts which can help you; you can also write those terms you think are important to remember in your notebook.

REMEMBER: you have to write an everyday reflection on your blog answering the following questions:

  • What have you learned today?
  • How have you learned today?
  • Have you worked alone or in groups?
  • What new terms and concepts in English have you used today?
  • In which point of the class did you have a problem?
  • How did you find a solution to that problem?
  • Do you have any other doubt about the lesson?


Ever wonder how tall buildings can withstand windy days, or why bridges don't collapse when large trucks drive over them? The answer is structural engineering. Structural engineers use physics and math to design and analyze the sturdiness of structures, things like bridges, buildings, concert stages, and even rollercoasters. Don't get me wrong. Designing any one of these things can involve multiple types of engineering, but it's structural engineering that's responsible for making sure that that structure won't collapse or fall over. You see, a structure must be able to handle the forces or loads that it's likely to experience. Take a skyscraper, for example. It not only has to support itself, but also all the people and furniture inside the building, and then external factors, like wind, snow, or an earthquake.

The materials and geometry that make up a structure influence how it may respond to those forces. Different materials have different properties, like strength, weight, and flammability, that can influence a structure's sturdiness. For example, steel is generally stronger, and weighs more than wood, and different geometric shapes work better for different purposes. For example, a square or rectangular base can typically hold more weight than a triangular base. Structural engineers perform calculations to determine the best materials and shapes to use in order to build a study structure. The next time you find yourself at the top of a rollercoaster, you can thank structural engineers for doing their part to make sure it's nice and sturdy.

 Now, let´s make some exercises:

Task 1: How many forces do you know?

In groups of four, follow the next steps...

  1. Draw on your notebook a structure. It can be a bridge, a house, a sckyscraper, a tower from the middle ages, a minecraft building, whatever....
  2. Once it is done, draw in different colours all the forces that you think might affect the structure: weight, wind, earthquake...
  3. Talk and debate with your partnerts and think how each force behaves.
  4. Now you are going to tell to the rest of the class how your structure works.

Task 2: Let´s look for structures!

In groups of four, look on the internet of the diverse types of structures. 

Task 3: Debate and brainstorming

To end the first lesson, all the groups will tell how many structures they have found.



Now, we know a little bit more about forces and structures.

We will watch the following video:


Task 1: Fill in the blanks

hi I'm Veronica jolla california travel tips here outside the glorious golden gate bridge in San Francisco
let's learn a little bit more about the golden gate bridge is history architect and some little-known facts.
The Golden Gate Bridge history dates back to its proposal in 1916.
Construction began in _____ and 35 million dollars later, the bridge officially opened to traffic on May 28 ______
It was the ______ suspension bridge in the world until ______ the record has been beaten several times.
Since then as we passed through the _____ gate began our crossing by car.
I wondered how long is the golden gate bridge.
We learned it's about 1.7 miles from _________ to ____ with a 40 200-foot _________ span 
Engineering ________ marvel at the Golden Gate Bridge blueprints _______ by joseph strauss in irving morrow.
Until then it was called the bridge that couldn't be ______ due to rough ocean currents, heavy fog and 60 mile-per-hour winds.
The vista point on the Marin County side is the ______ place to stop and _____   ______ of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Enjoy the city's fabulous ______ through a viewfinder or marvelous this beautiful piece of American ________
I hope you enjoyed this quick Golden Gate Bridge _______   _____.
I learned some _________facts about the golden gate bridge and I hope you did too
______ veronica hill and that's your California travel tip.
Task 2: In pairs, click on the "LABORATORY EFFORT" button.
Task 3: In pairs, click on the "LABORATORY MATERIAL" button.
Task 4: Now, in groups of four. You will have to make a sketch of the Golden Gate bridge, draw the forces that appear an explain how they work.
Task 5: Individually. Click on the "Multiple choice test 1"


Task 1: In this activity we split the groups in two, so we will work on pairs. Please click on the "SHAPE LABORATORY" button.

Task 2: Let´s wacth the following video.

Fill in the blanks:

TV presenter: hi guys squeaks I were just playing with some blocks
you know it may not seem like it but the cities and towns that we live in are all 
built using the same rules as our little pretend village over here
it's just that the real ones are bigger and one of our viewers six-year-old
Hannah from the UK want to know how some of the things that we build stay
standing. So she sent us a really great question:
why our __________ so strong?
Excellent question.
Sometimes when a road or rail road track needs to go across
something big like a _____ or a deep ______ experts called __________ design
and build bridges to do that job and bridges can be really busy.
Take for example, what's said to be the world's busiest bridge the George Washington Bridge in
________________ City.
Look at all those cars and _______ it has to be pretty sturdy to carry so many
people and cars for a bridge. To carry that much weight it has to be built a
special material like _____ and _______ but it takes more than tough materials to
make a _______ bridge.
so let's look at how bridges work one very simple kind of bridge is called a
_______ bridge.
When we say simple we really do mean simple a beam bridge can be just a log that used to walk
across the street or put a long strip of cardboard between two short blocks
that's a beam bridge to all bridges can hold a certain amount of weight but what
happens if we put too much _______ on a beam bridge
let's find out
it __________ so bridge that carries trucks and cars which are very heavy
would have to be stronger than a bridge that carries bikes or people on foot
which are lighter
so how do we make _________ bridges? well over time people have learned that
certain shapes can be used to make stronger bridges.
Take a look at this railroad bridge it has to be strong because it carries trains
what shape do you see?
that's right _________ and that's not by accident
the fact is triangles are really strong _________ for building if you put force on
one side of a triangle it bends, but if you put ______ on its point, it keeps its ________.
That's because the two sides of the triangle or push down by the ______ and
the bottom gets stretched out to both sides each side feels the force but none
of them _______ and this makes the triangle or really sturdy and stable shape.
This is why you'll see lots of triangles and bridges both above the part that you
actually travel on called the deck and below it the long string of triangles
that you see in a bridge is called a trust.
Trust has helped a bridge spread out the weight that it has to carry but not all bridges are made of
_________. If a bridge has to cross a really _______ body of water it might be too difficult
or expensive to build a truss bridge so engineers design another kind of bridge called a ___________ bridge
The ______________ bridge in California is a great example of a suspension bridge.
Suspension bridges work by using a force called ____________.
Tension is just pulling something tight.
Suspension bridges are made of a _________ that's hung or suspended
from thick ________ that stretch from one side of the bridge to the other.
These cables are supported by _____ towers and then are held down tightly or anchored
on both ______.
Suspension bridges are strong because the force on the bridge gets spread out. The ______ of the cars or trains horses
whatever is traveling across it pulls on the cables creating ________
Both cables then pull _____ the towers and also pull ___ the anchors on either end of the bridge to hold up the deck.
I could go on and on about all kinds of _______ bridges but basically bridges are
strong not only because they're made of _______ materials but also because of the
smart _______ dreamed up and planned by ________ so thanks for asking Anna and
thank you for hanging out with us at scishow kids.
See you next time
Task 3: Individually. Click on the "Multiple choice test 2"

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