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Project Information Page

Brunelleschi and Architecture
This project was developed as part of the NYS Virtual Learning Space Content Development Grant.

NYNET Resources for Teachers


Sheila Lobel, Scott Murray, and Greg Robinson,,

Grade 6, Science and Social Studies

Voorheesville Middle School, Voorheesville, NY


Students will learn about the life and works of the Renaissance architect, Filippo Brunelleschi, and the construction of domes. A variety of activities listed on the task page provide teachers with the opportunity to select appropriate lessons for individual classrooms.


This project is designed for grade six students and is an interdisciplinary unit for Social Studies and Science instruction.


Students will need a computer linked to the internet, a printer, and a notebook for research collection. Teachers will need a computer (and an LCD projector, if available). A copy of the book Waiting for Filippo by Michael Bender is also suggested. Teachers will have to provide the students with materials for the projects, as indicated.


Mathematics, Science, and Technology

Standard 1: Analysis, Inquiry, and Design Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.

Standard 2: Information Systems Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

Standard 4: Science Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

Standard 5: Technology Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.

Standard 6: Interconnectedness: Common Themes Students will understand the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science, and technology and apply the themes to these and other areas of learning.

Standard 7: Interdisciplinary Problem Solving Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.

English Language Arts

Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding Students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding. As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information

The Arts

Standard 4: Understanding the Cultural Contributions of the Arts Students will develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts turn shape the diverse cultures of past and present society.

Career Development and Occupational Studies

Standard 1: Career Development Students will be knowledgeable about the world of work, explore career options, and relate personal skills, aptitudes, and abilities to future career decisions.

Standard 2: Integrated Learning Students will demonstrate how academic knowledge and skills are applied in the workplace and other settings.

Social Studies

Standard 2: World History Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in world history and examine the broad sweep of history from a variety of perspectives.

Standard 3: Geography Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the independent world in which we live-local, national, and global-including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the earth's surface.

ISTE National Educational Technology Standards for Students

Basic Operations and Concepts

Students demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems

Social, Ethical, and Human Issues 

  1. Students practice responsible use of technology systems, information, and software. 

  2. Students develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.

Technology Productivity Tools

  1. Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.

  2. Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works

Technology Communications Tools

Students evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.

Technology Research Tools

  1. Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.

  2. Students use technology tools to process data and report results.


Students will read the introductory information and become familiar with the core vocabulary in order to prepare themselves to complete the various tasks presented in this project. Teachers can select from the tasks included. Students will complete assignments individually and in groups, depending on the activity. Some activities can be completed at home if students have computers with internet connections.


There will be a portfolio assessment at the conclusion of this unit but periodic assessments will take place in the classrooms which could include writing assessments using the school’s rubric, paper/pencil exams, sketches/illustrations, science lab reports and oral presentations.

Credits and References

Bender, Michael. Waiting for Filippo. Chronicle Books. 1995.

Fusi, Rolando. Looking at Florence. Parigi & Maggiorelli, Firenze. 1972.

Hartt, Frederick. Art. Harry N. Adams.1989.

Stevenson, Neil. Annotated Guides: Architecture. Doring Kindersley Limited. 1997

Westfall, Carroll William. Architecture and Construction. Scholastic, Inc. 1994
Koskimies, Kalervo. “S. Clemente. Apse.” Photograph from 1999. Online image.

5 Feb. 2003.

Reeve, Michael. “Piazza San Marco”. Nov. 1997. Online image. 5 Feb. 2003.
Chao, Arnold. “Florence Tower”. Copyright 2002. Online image. 5 Feb. 2003.
Besnard, Samuel. “Le Campanile.” 2002-2003. Online image. 5 Feb. 2003.

Virtual York. Online images. 5 Feb. 2003.

Architectural Details and Trim. Online images. 5 Feb. 2003.

Gallery of Art. Online images. 5 Feb. 2003.

Australia National University – Renaissance Art. Online images. 5 Feb. 2003.

Matthews, Kevin. “Photo, interior, oculus and sunbeam”. Great Buildings Online. Online image. 5 Feb. 2003.

“Ostrich egg.” Online image. 5 Feb. 2003.

“Horseshoe crab.” Online image. 5 Feb. 2003
“Clam shells.” Online image. 5 Feb. 2003
“Turtle.” Online image. 5 Feb. 2003
“Human skeleton.” Online image. 5 Feb. 2003
“Newspaper dome.” Online image. 5 Feb. 2003
“Dome directions.” Online image. 5 Feb. 2003
“Gumdrop domes.” Online image. 5 Feb. 2003

NYS Virtual Learning Space

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