Portland cement is a fascinating material.

And it can be the subject of a fascinating lesson plan. We have engaging lessons plans that are ready for your classroom.

Teachers Guide to Cement and Concrete Lessons

These lesson plans are designed to help students understand the large role that cement and concrete products play in their everyday lives. When the program is finished, students should not only understand the difference between cement and concrete, but should have a working knowledge of the science underlying the composition and behavior of the material.

Concrete surrounds us. When we walk to school, take the bus, walk into a building, or cross a bridge, concrete is there. This program was developed to help students understand how concrete is a key material to almost everything they do. It’s an exciting material that is more than just rock and sand. Read on to see just how cement and concrete affect our lives.

Making a New Stone

Imagine: Junior high school or high school students working on cement and concrete projects…separating out ingredients of concrete, varying the proportions of water and concrete, mixing additives, checking for temperature changes, finding the pH, and learning about the product.

The teacher’s task is to appropriately match the activity with the academic and maturation level of the students. Most students grades 7 through 12 can perform the activities in these lessons. Historical ideas and, more importantly, the chemistry of concrete demand an adequate background on the part of the teacher and a readiness on the part of students.

Safety

Include safety precautions when introducing concrete materials in the classroom. Working with cement requires you to supply students with waterproof protective gloves and safety glasses. The alkalinity of wet cement and concrete can cause skin irritation or even chemical burns under prolonged exposure.

Try to keep cement dust away from the students. A well ventilated work area is a practical solution to getting rid of any dust that may be produced. Encourage the students to wash thoroughly when they are finished working with cement and concrete. For more information, refer to PCA's guidelines on working safely with concrete.

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