Instructor’s Notes for Family Education


Lesson: Building Bridges



      Encourage reading in the home and model reading skills.

      Empower the student with knowledge.

      Increase the confidence level of the student in the classroom and as a parent.

      Help students see themselves as capable teachers of their children.

      Foster fun learning interaction between parent and child.

      Reinforce knowledge learned in the classroom by following up in the home.

      Provide hands-on activities.

      Promote healthy eating.






1.    Read books about bridges such as “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” or “The Bridge is Up!. Encourage reading by using some of the other books on the Family Education Books about Bridges resource list.


2.    Walk, bike, or drive around your community and examine the different bridges you pass over and under. Ask your child to identify which types of bridges s/he sees. Have him/her point out the different structures that are holding up the bridges and explain how they work.


3.    Have children build their own bridges using K’Nex, Legos, Tinker Toys or the make-your-own Styrofoam Building Blocks (instructions in the activity).


4.    Bridges to Wellness. Talk about good nutrition. Discuss food choices and let children see you make nutritious choices, including milk for lunch, too. Parents are among children's most important role models. Try some of the activities from


       Play the Pyramid Go Fish game.


       Food Categorization-- Ask children to list all the foods (and the amounts) they ate yesterday for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. After children have completed this task, have them categorize the foods they ate yesterday into food groups. (You may need to help children with combination foods. For example, a slice of pizza would fit into several food groups such as grains, vegetables, milk, and meat and beans.) Next, have them list their physical activity and time spent on each activity. Then have the children rate how they did yesterday and set goals for tomorrow.


       Vegetable Ad Campaign--Have children create an ad campaign for a vegetable. Research a dark green or orange vegetable. (They can find information at Why is it a nutritious choice? Have children use their creativity to create a poster and perhaps a TV ad – a jingle, a skit – that they can perform.


       Play the MyPyramid Blast-Off Game--As a concluding activity for Bridges to Wellness, have children play the MyPyramid Blast-Off Game on or In this game, children see if they can make the MyPyramid rocket fly. To do this they need to fill the rocket with the right “fuel”— a day’s worth of smart food choices and physical activity. They will use the knowledge learned from the previous activities to help them make the best choices. After children have played the game, ask what they have learned.


6.    Do your kids ever ask you how bridges work? Why they don't collapse? How much weight they can carry? Turn this fascination into a learning activity. Complete the Build an Edible Bridge activity using gumdrops or marshmallows.


7.    Complete the activity The Three Billy Goats Gruff. This well-known story allows parents to focus on reading, springboard to teachable themes, and reinforces lessons from an adult education classroom.


8.    Color a Bridge. Use art materials to add texture and dimension. For example, use yarn for the bridge cables and aluminum foil for the bridge deck. Challenge the kids to use all recyclable materials to decorate the bridge.