Tuesday, August 1, 2017

U.S Capitol Paper Model

After many hours of hair pulling and exasperation, I ruefully reflected on the reason of why I was in my current predicament. Oh yes, I had wanted a challenge. 😊😅 I had started percolating ideas for my next resource and while I had a whole list of ideas, I kept thinking back to my Castle Model. Models are just plain fun and a great way to enhance a lesson or a report.

So, a model then. What would I love to have a model for? A model for my government unit, specifically the branches of government, sounded like just the resource I wanted to beef up interest in a somewhat confusing concept for kids.


Each project I work on, I learn more about the software I use to create resources. I was ready for a bit of a challenge. I chose the U.S. Capitol building for my model and jumped in working on the East Side. What a beautiful building! I figured I could reuse many of the same design features for the rest of the building. Ha ha! Jokes on me! Who knew how many different kinds of windows and lamp posts there were, not to mention the incredible detail work so high up on the dome, who would ever know it's there? Well, I did my best to include as much detail as I could. Some of the ornate carvings have been simplified, and some are best seen in real life with the aid of a very good camera lens since, alas, I am not a Grecian artist. I have not had the fortune of visiting our capitol, so this model is designed from my pouring over as many photos from as many angles as possible. As such, (disclaimer), while attentive to detail, the model is not a replica. 5 months later, here we have it! I almost bit off more than I could chew, hence the hair pulling, but wow, I kind of love all the detail in the finished product!



Enough about the process; on to the specs of the model. Featuring a ground level floor for the main building, the dome level, and the optional add on lower level for the West Side, the U.S. Capitol Building showcases the general design of the building including the Senate and House of Representatives wing. Next to the dome are the smaller domes of the House and Senate. Finish it off with the lower level and your U.S. Capitol is complete. Sitting at just under the length of a poster board, this model is definitely project level! For just the building alone, the model comes in at 25 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 17.5 inches high. This doesn't include the poster platform or the lower level.


The lower level is a nice addition, but to use it you need to have a poster board to create a platform in order to insert the lower level. This adds time and more materials to the project, so I'd call this optional or as classroom needs necessitate. 


The East Side's design is different than the West Side's. The roof line is different and the staircases and small patios with lamp posts and wrought iron fencing are more charming to me than the West Side.


Cardstock is the best material for supporting the model, but who really can copy 23 pages per student in cardstock? Perhaps if the model is being completed as a group I might. Copy paper it is. The model will work with copy paper, but you will need some more support so that the model doesn't flop too much. Tape a few bendy straws together and then bend out the top of the straws to create a nice support for the roof. Tape under the dome and anywhere else you feel needs more support and viola!


Thinking it might be complicated? No worries! I've got you covered with assembly guides for each section of the building and of course teacher notes to make the process streamlined. The main building comes together quite quickly. The roof and the main dome will require a bit more finesse in gluing and assembling.





Check out the video below to see how to assemble the model. Written directions are fine, but why not just watch the video? 😉




Now, what do you think? Give models a rest or try out a Idaho State Capitol Building? We'll see if the model bug hits me again, but I think my pirate and medieval themes are feeling lonely after this long journey. Until then, happy modeling!