clock tower

The week before our Thanksgiving break, the Hummingbirds took a field trip to the Ferry Building to make observations of the clock tower there and listen for the chimes. To prepare for their trip, Shawna showed them a timeline of the history of clocks and they discussed why it was built where it was and what purpose it served.


She writes, “We talked briefly about the mechanics inside the clock tower, connecting to the little plastic gear and pendulum clocks they had made with Cynthia and Ellen a few weeks ago when I was out. I explained that we wouldn’t get to go inside that day, but we could be detectives and try to find clues inside the building as to how it works, or its history. For those of us who have seen the clock tower a lot, it would be extra challenging to find something new that we hadn’t ever noticed before.”



During their trip, they made observations about the mechanics that made the clock work, its immense height, and what it might look like inside, though they were unable to see it for themselves.


This week, they’ve returned to the clock tower and have started to design clock towers of their own. Shawna writes, “The children studied images of different clock towers from around the world as inspiration for their designs. Some of the children drew more than one design. Lucy commented that Sadie’s reminded her of a birthday cake.”


They took the clock tower idea even further and decided to build their own models! Shawna said, “After gathering some design ideas, we picked out cardboard from the Shop and got to work drawing lines and using box cutters to cut out our shapes. Aurora decided that her clock tower would be modeled after Big Ben. Largo first made a window, then changed his mind and made a big circle around it, deciding instead to make the clock itself. He announced, “Mine is going to be so big!” Lucy announced that she was going to make a clock tower that was a little like the Eiffel Tower but more like a giraffe.”




The Hummingbirds will be pursuing the idea of building a clock tower and Shawna says she’s excited to explore building a tall, stable structure with the kids and see if they can make clock hands work on the towers they build themselves in studying gears and how they work with Sean in the workshop.