The Eiffel Tower: A Unit Study

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The Eiffel Tower: A Unit StudyBuilt in 1889 for an exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, the Eiffel Tower has become almost synonymous with Paris, if not the entirety of France.

How the Eiffel Tower Was Made

The Eiffel Tower is a masterpiece of design.  All of the needed metal pieces were fabricated in a different place according to the plans made by the builder whose name the tower bears, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel.

The Eiffel Tower: A Unit Study
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel

The pieces were precision-made, and the accuracy of each part was controlled to a small part of an inch. The parts needed to build the structure were hoisted up into place by cranes mounted in the legs of the tower, and then were riveted in place. In all, 2.5 million rivets were used.

The Eiffel Tower is an enormous 986-foot-tall structure, consisting of 7000 tons of iron. It was the tallest tower in the world until the Chrysler Building surpassed it in height in 1930. Every seven years, fifty-five to sixty-six tons of paint are needed to keep this massive metal structure from rusting.

Despite being so tall, the massive Eiffel Tower is safe from wind storms. Due to the ingenuity of design, not only does the cross bracing of the metal structure help by making it much stronger, but the open lattice-style construction allows the wind to simply flow through the structure. The total estimated sway initiated by hurricane-force winds is but 8.8 inches.

The History of the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower: A Unit StudyThe Eiffel Tower was dedicated in a ceremony on March 31, 1889.  Alexandre Gustave Eiffel originally had a permit for the tower to stand for twenty years. However, as radio was invented around this time, the tower became a radio tower in 1901. In 1944, Adolf Hitler ordered the tower to be destroyed. However, for reasons apparently lost in the pages of history, the general who governed the city of Paris at the time disobeyed. It has been suggested that Hitler decided to keep the tower intact as a radio tower.

The Eiffel Tower still stands in Paris receiving 200,000,000 visitors over the years, and is now almost the very emblem of Paris.

 

Further Investigation

Building Big: Wonders of the World – Eiffel Tower
Basic information and facts.

Eiffel Tower Deconstructed
Fun facts and interesting information.

 

Origins and Construction of the Eiffel Tower
Plans, construction with photos, and original blueprints.

History of the Eiffel Tower: Events
Interactive timeline.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Google map view from above.  The tools can be used to tour the tower.

360 Panorama
A 360-degree tour of Paris from the Eiffel Tower.

One Leg Up on Architects
“When it was completed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was hailed as a marvel of man’s engineering. But its basic design was actually borrowed from the work of an ancient designer—the Creator, who engineered the human femur.”  From Answers in Genesis.

Biography of Gustave Eiffel
A look into a few of his other projects, including the structure of the Statue of Liberty.

 

Activities

Eiffel Tower 120th Birthday Video
Video of the 2009 birthday celebration.  Incredible!

Build Your Own Tower
Build your own tower with Legos, Plankos, K-Nex, building blocks or Popsicle sticks and glue, straws and tape.

Eiffel Tower – LEGO
Completed tower and how it was constructed with blue LEGOs.

Eiffel Tower
Paper model to cut out and assemble.

Eiffel Tower 3D Puzzle
3D jigsaw puzzle.

Eiffel Tower Paper Craft
Build your own using this template from Canon.

Eiffel Tower Origami (.pdf)
Rather complicated….

 

Books

coverMadeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
A long-time children’s favorite set in Paris.

 

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Follow Gus
36-page student guide for “discovering the secrets of the Eiffel Tower.”  Corresponding lesson plans and activity downloads are available in a separate Teacher’s Kit.

Madeline Lapbook and Lessons
Free lapbook and lesson plans that go with the book above.

 

Notebooking Pages

Eiffel Tower Coloring Pages
Nice variety of options for a notebook.

Eiffel Tower Coloring Page
Another option from Crayola.

The Eiffel Tower Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

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