The Work Plan

Thursday, June 9, 2011

American Symbols: Fort McHenry

 A while ago I purchased this very beginner workshop kit at Target. It was clearanced for $8.00. My first thought was this isn't real tools, but my toddlers would jump for joy to be able to use it. It came with a lot of plastic tools and wood foam that if giving a go at it they would at least have fun practicing the basic movements of sawing.

But when DJ found this in my hidden treasures area, he wanted to work with this very badly. I had him look through the project idea book to get some ideas. Then what do you know last Thursday his teacher sends home information about the last project of the school year! The second graders must write, draw, or Build an American Symbol. They have been learning about the Revolutionary War and the Civil War in class so DJ was confident when he said he wanted to build a fort. I asked him which fort, he seemed to be stumped by this question so I gave him a list of links that I found on the computer and sent him on a research mission to find some information about forts.

He loved the site Webrangers  here kids of all ages learn about national parks, monuments, and historic sites. Here is where he found his favorite fort, Fort McHenry. Now it is time to build.

DJ did the design and the construction all independently.

                               Using the screwdriver and hammer to build the frame.

The Constructive Triangles were used to aid him in making a five point star.

                        Adding star decorations.

                   Fort McHenry completed with the flag and army men.

    A new word for DJ was hinge. He loved making this moveable door.Some facts that DJ learned while doing some research on Fort McHenry:

  • Fort McHenry is located in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Fort McHenry is a star shaped fort
  • Fort McHenry is named after James McHenry who became Secretary of War under President Washington
  • Fort McHenry inspired the national anthem "The Star Spangled Banner" to be written.                                  


  1. My kids just learned about Fort McHenry last week too.

  2. I love this-seeing him work with so much concentration and independence! :)

  3. awesome and love that he had enough interest to follow it through.


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