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Building Things (1)

This version was saved 11 years, 9 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Shannon Wiebe
on May 10, 2012 at 10:42:07 pm


this page is still under construction May 10, 2012


I am gradually pulling together the projects I have done during our building things unit in grade 1.  It will take some time to complete this collection.


This unit followed the Needs of Plants and Animals.  We already had a collection of domestic animals in the class on display.  The first task was to build a home for one of the domestic animals we had in the classroom (plastic to scale).  The home had criteria, it had to have a door that could lock, have an area for food, sleep and exercise.  It also had to be big enough to fit the animal the students chose, they used the plastic models to be sure.


A booklet was made using pages and task sheets from the Edmonton Public science resource "Building things".  In some cases I developed my own criteria.  Following the animal habitat task long tables were brought in and we prepared a city where all of the items we were going to build would be displayed.  This stayed up for the remainder of the unit.  Student names were on tent cards so that I could photograph each of their creations to be added to the booklet and reviewed using the criteria for each task.




This is the cover of the student booklet lists the learning outcomes.  They should be shown as clear targets in students friendly language with a student self-assessment option and then teacher (as you will see on the criteria sheets).  I didn't quite get to that, it's on my list of things to do.


Following the unit this booklet goes home for parents to sign and return.  I include comments on the cover in relation to the specific learning outcomes, at times noting whether specific outcomes were met or not met.  This makes report cards easy to write.  A digital collection of these artifacts would also be awesome.




This was our first project made of polystyrene.  The item had to be an animal and it had to stand on its own and withstand a small gust of air (we blew on them to see if they would fall over).  I demonstrated how to notch the feet and add supports.  We discussed the best design, a larger base and so on.  Students were asked to label as many parts of their animal as they could.  We also wrote a "Qui suis-je" riddle to go with the animal.  We had seen animal parts in our plants and animals unit so this was a good time to revisit that vocabulary.






Building "puppets" with moving parts.  I have to find and post the criteria.  I didn't help the students or cut for them.  This frustrated some.  A few students had to start over because their bits of paper got too small (see the little brown "item" below).  That was really the biggest part of this unit, changing a design that didn't initially work.  It meant for some frustrating moments.  Identifying the parts of a model and describing steps is part of the outcomes as well so we always spent time writing once the building was complete.  If you enlarge the first photo you can see the student reflection prompts.








Our next project was made with pipe-cleaners and straws and is described in the resource as a "toy".  We looked at photos of skeletons first and compared these creations (I always make a sample first to look at, get ideas from) to other toys we know of with joints, GI Joe type figures, barbies with legs that bend.  Again, we discussed that the parts had to be big enough and long enough to manipulate.  Once complete we recorded the materials, steps and possible improvements.


I will locate and post the project criteria!  I stapled their creature right into the booklet.  Be prepared that some of the creations will be a sad little pile of pie cleaners.  It was tough for some students to abandon an idea even if it wasn't going very well.  The beauty of this unit is that we built som many different things that you could really see the progression and sophistication of what students were able to build by the end of the unit.  The photo journal of their progress was helpful as student determined which project they felt was most successful and why.









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