As Straight as a Pole

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In this engineering activity (page 3 of PDF), young learners investigate how a pole can be made stable by “planting” its base in the ground or adding supports to the base. First, learners observe trees and street signs outside. Then, learners are challenged to make a tall object like a wrapping paper roll or yardstick stand upright by adding found and recycled objects (clay, pebbles, plastic containers, etc.). This activity is part of the Curious George "Under Construction" lesson plan and related to the show Curious George on PBS, specifically the episode "Curious George's Home for Pigeons". The lesson plan includes several activities that explore building engineering. Activities are connected to fiction and non-fiction books and include family extension projects.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Architectural Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
    • Technology
      • Construction
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Literature
  • Model Building
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Curious George


  • All rights reserved, Universal Studios, 2006

Funding Source:

  • Shea Homes