How Big Is Our Tower?

Scripture: Genesis 11

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the details of the story of the Tower of Babel
  • Students will learn theta although we don’t know how tall the Tower of Babel was before God confused the speech of the people, we know it was possibly like a ziggurat.
  • Students will learn/review how to find perimeter and area of squares and rectangles
  • Students will participate in an activity which allows them to practice finding the perimeter and area of real life objects

Guiding Question: How do you find the permitter of the base of a building and the surface area of one side of the building?

Materials: building bricks, rulers, paper, pencils

Procedure: Review the details of the story of the Tower of Babel. Discuss ziggurats and how the Tower of Babel may have resembled a ziggurat. Remind the students that although we don’t know how tall the tower of Babel was before they stopped building it, we have ways of knowing how large certain parts of buildings are today. Teach/review with the students how to find the perimeter and area of squares and rectangles. Give the students building blocks and give them five minutes to build their own “Tower of Babel”. Ask students to make the base of their tower either a square or a rectangle. Have the students find the area of the base of their tower by measuring only one or two of the sides of the base. Have them fin the area of one of the tall sides of the tower. Have students rotate from tower to tower calculating the perimeter of the base and the area of one of the sides of each tower. After students have calculated figures for each tower demonstrate the results for each tower and have students check their work.

Additional Question: If the tower were a pyramid how would you find the perimeter of the base and the area of one flat side (triangle A=½ bh)?

Supplemental Activity: Have students repeat the activity, but this time the towers are more pyramids in shape. (They will have to use paper and tape it to their towers to get a true triangle shape for the sides.)