“First come rumbling flatbed trucks, bundles of steel on their backs, like a gleaming endless river surging through the concrete canyons of Manhattan.”
Wasn’t that just delicious! The figurative language all by itself just makes a teacher’s heart sing- but it’s about building a skyscraper! And let me tell you, my little engineers sat up straighter when they started seeing the pictures of this book!
Sky Boys by Deborah Hopkinson
This is the book that was so mesmerizing! It’s the story of the Empire State Building being built in 1931. It’s told from the point of view of a young boy who watches each step of the building going up. Our favorite page included the steel columns of the foundation.
“Before your eyes a steel forest appears. Two hundred and ten massive columns, lifted by derricks and set onto concrete piers sunk fifty-five feet down to hard-rock bottom.”
Those words are better than any lesson I could dream up for getting kids to understand the need for a great foundation. The term sky boys came from the derrick workers that worked high up in the sky hoisting, swinging, and placing the beams in the right spots. Fabulous book for introducing a STEM Challenge! We built all kinds of towers!
Deborah Hopkinson says
Thank you for this! Teachers might also wish to look at the great economics lesson plan using Sky Boys at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Louisville branch. They have tons of STEM/economics resources for educators there.
Carol Davis says
Oh my goodness! Your book is just fabulous! I am so glad you found this post and can see how the book was used with a group of first and second graders! Thank you so much!