I’ve been looking for ideas for how to teach about keystones during Seminary next year, and it seems I’m not the only one. The interest stems from a quote by Joseph Smith that says:
I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book. (Joseph Smith)
This morning I spent a few minutes looking up information on keystones, and I found several ideas that are helpful. The most surprising one for me was the idea of using an old ice cube tray to make blocks out of plaster of Paris.
Anyway, here’s a list of ideas that can help teach about the purpose of a keystone in architecture:
- http://www.fatbraintoys.com/toy_companies/haba/roman_arch_set.cfm – this is a Roman Arch building set for $43 made of wooden blocks. It’s expensive for Seminary, but cool.
- http://www.cricketmag.com/ProductImages/articles/BuildaRome.pdf – This PDF article from Cricket Magazine, a children’s magazine, shares the idea of using the plaster of Paris blocks using an ice cube tray
- http://cantonart.org/media/1/5/geo13.pdf – This PDF shows you how to calculate mathmatically how to create an arch out of cardboard. It’s intended to be scaled up for use in large scale in the classroom, but there are printable folded patterns you could print or photocopy on cardstock to make blocks for your arch.
- http://www.jaconline.com.au/atlasofdiscovery/downloads/worksheets/ws54-roman-arches.pdf – This page suggests using curved paper and tape to make a simple roman arch. This version is not architecturally sound, but it’s easy to make.
- http://www.mormonshare.com/lds-clipart/the-keystone-of-our-religion-the-book-of-mormon – clipart images of keystones based on the Book of Mormon Student Study Guide
- Update September 6, 2017: Jen C shared: “If you are (or know anyone) slightly handy, you can make your own wooden arch set to teach the keystone principle. I found these instructions very helpful: http://www.instructables.com/
Please share your ideas below, too!