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Fall of the Leaning Tower

Viewing Ideas


Before Watching

  1. To give students an appreciation of the tower's weight, ask them to work in pairs to compare its weight (14,000 tons) to something familiar to them. For example, if an average midsize car weighs 1.75 tons (3,500 pounds), then how many cars would be needed to equal the tower's weight? 14,000 tons ÷ 1.75 tons = 8,000 cars.

  2. Ask students to sketch three ideas illustrating how they might straighten the tower. As they watch, have students keep notes on reasons for the tower's lean and measures taken to prevent or correct it.

After Watching

  1. Return to students' sketches. How close were their ideas to ideas presented in the program? Compare students' ideas to those in the program and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

  2. Discuss attempts that have been made to straighten the tower and rate each in terms of effectiveness. Have students vote on which corrective measure they think should be pursued further.

Teacher's Guide
Fall of the Leaning Tower
BUY THE VIDEO PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIEWING IDEAS CLASSROOM ACTIVITY RELATED NOVA RESOURCES INTERACTIVE FOR STUDENTS