Bridges Lesson for Kids: Types & Facts

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Bridges are found all over the world, and they are an important part of transportation. In this lesson, learn about different types of bridges and discover some interesting facts about these structures.

Bridge Background

Inventions are created to solve problems, and bridges solved the very big problem of trying to cross lakes, rivers, and deep valleys. Some of the earliest bridges were made by using large fallen logs from trees. They have definitely come a long way since then, thanks to technology and engineering. Let's discover some of the most famous and impressive types of bridges.

Arch Bridges

If you've been sitting for a long time, you might arch your back to stretch your muscles. When you arch your back, it becomes curved. This is the shape used for arch bridges as well. This type of bridge is one of the oldest, and it is often built using stone. Arch bridges are often built for people to cross over rivers or valleys.

Many people find beauty in arch bridges, especially those constructed with stone.
stone bridge

Movable Bridges

If you are traveling way above a river or valley, you probably want to cross over a bridge that doesn't move. However, there are some bridges that are actually designed to move. Many bridges cross over large rivers, which are used for transportation for boats. A boat might have a very hard time continuing on its path with a big bridge in the way.

Specially-designed structures called drawbridges can actually move to allow for boats to pass. The bridge is divided into two major parts, almost like a saw has cut it right down the middle. When a boat is coming through, traffic will be stopped on either side of the bridge. The parts of the bridge will then be raised, creating a path for the boat.

One of the most famous drawbridges in the world is the Tower Bridge in London.

Another movable bridge is called a simple suspension bridge. These bridges are made from rope, and are not for the faint of heart! They often swing with the breeze or with the weight of people crossing. So if you're afraid of heights and don't want your bridges to move back and forth, you might want to steer clear of these!

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