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7-A State Capitol, Columbus, Ohio, 1838—1861
Evgeniya Sotskaya


Lesson Plan Title: “Not for ourselves only, but for future generations”.
Skills Covered:

  • analyzing primary source documents,
  • interpreting written information,
  • comparing and finding similarities and differences,
  • making conclusion,
  • expressing opinion.

General Goal(s): analysis of the historical events of a certain period in the history of the USA, integrated analysis of the work of Art based on combination of factual picture and the background knowledge.
Specific Objectives:

  • Learning in detail the historical period of early development of democracy in Ohio State.
  • Revision of some grammar phenomenon: past and present simple tenses, degrees of comparison and ways to express comparison.
  • Vocabulary work with words related to architecture.
  • Enrichment of students’ vocabulary by introducing and reinforcing arts related terms.

Materials/ Visual Aids:

Instructional Procedures:

  • Warm-up or lead-In (5 minutes):

If we go out and look around we shall see a great number of buildings. But each of them differs from the other ones. There are many reasons for that.  Work in pairs and name some of them and explain your point of view (Then they speak out with their ideas. The teacher helps them to state the reason. The other students can add).

  1. Step-by-step procedure
    • Activity 1 (3 minutes). Look at the picture of one building.

Answer the questions in small groups:

      • What country is the building located in?
      • What’s the purpose of the building? What is there in the building?
      • Are there many visitors? Who might come there?
      • What is there near the building?

(While the students answer the questions, the teacher makes notes on the blackboard. Them they come to some kind of conclusion).

    1. Activity 2 (3 minutes). Look attentively at the surrounding buildings and compare them.(http://en.academic.ru/pictures/enwiki/79/Ohio_Statehouse_columbus.jpg)

Use the following words and phrases: both… and…; but; unlike; and; in contrast to. Use the photos on the site.

    1. Activity 3 (3 minutes). Compare the historical changes in the outlook of the building.


    1. Activity 4 (5 minutes). Now you know that the building you have seen is the Statehouse. It is also called the State Capitol. It is situated in Columbus, Ohio. Read the text about the historical background of the building you see. (http://www.ohiochannel.org/your_state/ohio_statehouse/
    2. Activity 5 (3minutes). Define whether the following statements are true or false to the text. If not correct them. (http://www.ohiochannel.org/your_state/ohio_statehouse/
      • The initial design of the house appeared as a compilation of several suggestions.
      • Four landowners sold a 10-acre parcel of land on the west side of the Scioto River.
      • The site of the construction was used as a place to tend a herd for 8 years.
      • All kinds of work during the building of the Statehouse were done by prisoners.
      • Ohio State Capitol was erected very quickly.
      • Nathan B Kelley didn’t finish the building of the Statehouse but did much good for it.
      • Gothic Revival Mode was extremely popular in the USA.
      • 22 years had passed before the Statehouse started functioning.
      • Initially the interior of the Statehouse was sumptuous.
      • The Statehouse today is a functioning museum.
    1. Activity 6 (3 minutes). Complete the sentences with the information from the text. (http://www.ohiochannel.org/your_state/ohio_statehouse/
      • The building was designed in Greek Revival style because…
      • The gaps in the construction happened for …
      • The building consisted mainly of …
      • On July 4th, 1839 …
      • The honour of  being a National Historic Landmark recognizes ...
      • Some original graffiti was uncovered during …
      • The building of the Statehouse has much in common with …
      • Nathan B. Kelley was fired for …
      • The defects in the design of the building included …
      • The project of the building …
    1. Activity 7 (5 minutes). Look through the text again and in pairs find ten words related to the idea of building a house. Try to explain what they mean. Dictionary of Contemporary English can help you. (http://www.ohiochannel.org/your_state/ohio_statehouse/


  • Basement is a part of the house below the ground level;
  • Column is a tall and cylindrical element of design, usually used to support a building or as a decoration;
  • Cornerstone is the first element or piece of construction material, usually put with a special ceremony;
  • Exterior is everything that can be found near and around some certain object;
  • Foundation is a part of the basis of a house above the ground level;
  • Heating is a system that helps to make a house or a room warm and comfortable;
  • Interior is everything you can find inside a building or the inner part of it;
  • Limestone is a kind of material for building or construction;
  • Masonry is a part of construction made of brick or stone, joined with cement or some bonding material;
  • Ventilation system gives an opportunity to air a room or a building.
    1. Activity 8 (7 minutes). Read one more text about the Statehouse and be ready to talk about the architectural style of the building.


    1. Activity 9 (1 minute). What elements of design or construction are mentioned in the text?

Foundation, porch, pediment / gable, pilaster, column / pillar, dome, drum, cupola, rotunda, front.

    1. Activity 10 (5 minutes). Explain the meaning of these words. Use a dictionary if you need. Locate the elements on the picture.

Porch is a structural element at the door with a floor and a roof but no walls;
Pediment / gable is a triangle above the entrance;
Pilaster is a square column attached to the wall of a building for decoration;
Column / pillar is a tall upright round post to support a roof;
Dome / cupola is a round roof of a building;
Drum is an architectural element that looks like a drum;
Rotunda is a round building or a hall, very often with a dome;
Front is a side or surface that faces forward;

    1. Activity 11 (3 minutes). Find what words are used in the text to describe the architectural elements?

Serene exterior, compact rectangular structure, high foundation, projecting porch, crowned by pediment, horizontal building, articulated by pilasters, inset window, stepped-back, columned porch, Doric column, eccentric pediment, to float over the porch, temple-like cupola, conical roof, monumental form, recessed porch, regular, stately rhythm.

    1. Activity 12 (5 minutes). Use the words and phrases mentioned above, and the names of architectural elements to describe the building of Ohio State Capitol?


    1. Activity 13 (2 minutes). What style was predominant while planning the exterior of the building? Try to explain why.


    1. Activity 14 (5 minutes). Read a text about Greek Revival in North America. And name the buildings erected in this style.


    1. Activity 15 (3 minutes). In what parts of the USA was Greek Revival style popular? What representatives of the style in the USA can you name? What are the most popular examples of buildings designed in the style do you know?


    1. Activity 16 (2 minutes). In one of the texts we have studied today there was a quotation concerning the building of Ohio Statehouse. As the 1839 Commission stated the building was erected “not for ourselves only, but for future generations”. How can you understand these words? What did they feel at that moment?
  • Closure:

There are many other examples of fine buildings created in this style because it was very popular in the young democratic country, and the ideas and the values popular in Ancient Greece agreed with the outlook of progressive Americans of that time. And by means of our analysis, I hope, you understand their feelings and expectations about the future of their country.

  • Extra-Class Work (Homework):

Find pictures of any work of Art in Greek Revival mode and describe it using the vocabulary we have studied today. Don’t forget to say a few words about the architect of the project.

List of References: