Beth Sholom Synagogue

Beth Sholom Synagogue in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania is considered by many critics to be Wright’s most expressive building. The structure is anchored to the ground by concrete walls that incorporate the foundation buttresses for the three steel tripod girders which support the steeply inclined walls, allowing the full upper floor freedom from internal supports. The woven walls of the sanctuary are composed of translucent layers of wire glass and plastic with air space between them for insulation. During the day, the interior is lit by natural light entering through the translucent walls overhead. At night, the entire building glows from interior artificial lighting. For this particular activity, we used popsicle sticks covered in foil (to simulate steel) and white clay to create our version of this magnificent structure. When playing with a diverse array of materials, children come across new experiences with each tower, structure, and building they create. At the preschool age, your child is learning to develop sophisticated use of language, stringing sentences together using larger vocabulary and in-depth thought processes. For this activity, your little one was encouraged to use adjectives such as “humongous” and “sturdy,” as opposed to simpler words like “big” and “strong.” Your budding architect was also asked open-ended questions about their structure, which inspired them to have new ideas, as well as nurture confidence in creativity.

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