Planning Index: Structures & Forces | Print |

Grade 7 Science Unit Plan
Unit D - Structures and Forces
(emphasis on Social and Environmental context)
7 Wonders of the World Great Buildings of the World

Grade 7 Unit Overview (Alberta)
Structures can be found in both natural and human-constructed environments, serving a variety of purposes and taking a wide range of forms. In learning about structures students investigate the properties of materials used, and test them under different loads and forces. They examine different ways that structural components are configured, analyze forces involved and investigate resulting effects on structural strength and stability. As part of their study, students also examine construction methods used in past and present, and learn how science and technology link together in developing safe and efficient designs that meet human needs.

Concepts Covered and Developed through Instruction

What do the students already know?

What makes a building collapse?
How can designers and engineers prevent this from happening?

What must they Learn?

About loads and forces acting structure and how strength and stability can be enhanced.


Specific Learner Outcomes

Instructional Focus

Focus 1

Types of structures

Describe and interpret different types of structures encountered in everyday objects, buildings, plants and animals; and identify materials from which they are made


- forms and materials
- variation in design
- traditional designs
- natural structures
( bone, bird's nests, structure of living things and structures created by animals )
- failure

 Identify / Describe natural structures
Viewing / Research
Research / Scientific Illustrations
Research and Viewing

Lab Activities

Focus 2

Forces Acting on Structures

Investigate and analyze forces within structures, and forces applied to them


- units of force and mass
- identify and measure forces and loads
- frictional forces
- forces causing structures to fail
( tension, compression, shearing and bending )
- properties of materials
- stability

Problem Solving / Calculations

Lab activities

Graphing / Excel
Lab activities 


Lab activities

Focus 3

Structural Materials

Investigate and analyze the properties of materials used in structures


- testing strength
- types of joints
- structural properties
- plant and animal
( bone, cartilage and ligaments, layers of materials in plants )
- Biominerals

Lab Activities
Textual Materials
Research / Demonstration / Lab Activities

Research / Lab Activities

Focus 4

Structural Stability / Safety

Demonstrate and describe processes used in developing, evaluating and improving structures that will meet human needs with a margin of safety


- strength of materials
- environmental factors
- analyze and evaluate on the basis of identified criteria
- safety

Lab Activities and Graphing w/ Excel
Scientific Reports

Demonstrations / Presentations

Project / Research