Thursday, October 10, 2013

Second grade: Notre Dame Cathedral


Even something as complex as a Gothic cathedral can be learned by young children! We looked at David Macaulay's Cathedral drawing as well as a photograph of Notre Dame and simplified it into lines, arches, and patterns. I had them guess how many steps you had to climb to get to the top (387!) since Gothic architecture is characterized by its height and narrow structure. Students also learned basic architectural terms such as spire, rose window, and pointed arches.


  1. These are great! Dud you used guided drawing for part or all of this? I want to try with fourth grade.

    1. Hi Ackart, thank you!! Yes, I did guide them through each step. We first drew two tall rectangles with some space in between for the towers and then connected them at the bottom. The second step was to leave space at the top for the bell towers and draw a horizontal line across. We filled in the towers with pointed arches and spires and then moved down to the next row which we filled in with more arches. Lots of repetition of shapes! I think the last step we did was add the pattern for the limestone. I hope this helps! And please send me a link if you do the lesson, I'd love to see how fourth graders would do!