Reflection: Intrinsic Motivation Take It Apart, Put It Together - Section 4: Journaling Our Work


I didn't realize how exciting taking a real object apart would be for students. They were excited from the moment I brought out the objects. I had found an old radio, a sander, a blender and a set of headphones. Every group was engaged during the entire project. One student said, "this is the best day of school ever." Another said, "this is so cool! Can we do it again tomorrow?" 

Amazingly, even though students could barely contain their excitement when they got out a screw, or opened up the casing, they also remembered to journal. They wrote, drew and explained to me and to other groups all that they had found. The lesson was not just the chaos of taking something apart, but rather they were fascinated by the materials inside of things. They found copper wire and thought they would be rich. They found that the metal sides of the blender were too hard to cut, but that they could break the plastic. They found magnets inside the earphones that they figured helped when a sound hit it the magnet must go back and forth (figuring out sound waves on their own).

Finding something so motivating for students also allowed me to have conversations with them about materials and shapes and to realize how much of an understanding of the value of these things they had grasped during the previous lessons. 

There is nothing better than watching a whole class shrieking with excitement when a classmate opened up the back of the radio and saw the transistor board. 

  Intrinsic Motivation: Excitement
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Take It Apart, Put It Together

Unit 4: What Is It Made Out Of?
Lesson 8 of 10

Objective: SWBAT reinforce their understanding that things can be taken apart and recombined in novel ways.

Big Idea: Objects are made up of smaller parts. Students delight in taking things apart and this is one time when taking it apart will be encouraged.

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