Building Things In Different Ways
Lesson 4 of 10
Objective: SWBAT build different designs using the same materials
I Can Statement
I ask students to read the I Can Statement with me. We read, " I can take something apart and put it back together is a different way."
I say to students, "What do you think it means to take something apart and put it back together in a different way?" I let students respond and then I ask them if they have ever done this before? I am assuming that students will quickly think of things such as legos or Kinnex where they build and change things all the time. I ask, "can you always take things apart and put them together in a different way?" I assume that students will not agree about whether this is possible and this is where we will begin the lesson.
I have built cubes with 27 snap cubes for each student. I ask, "are these all the same except for the colors?" (Yes) "Do you think that if you all took these cubes apart and put them back together again in any way you wanted that you would all come up with the same design? Why or why not?" I want to hear the student reasoning to see if they can explain why it is possible to take things apart and put them together in different form. I can scaffold new learning to what students are already able to explain.
"Ok, I am going to give you all a cube and ask you to take 5 minutes to take it apart and rebuild it in any way that you wish, but you do need to use all of the cubes." Giving Directions I hand each student a 27 block cube and let them work for 5 minutes. I ring the bell at the end of 4 minutes to tell them that they have 1 minute left to make sure that all of their blocks are connected.
At the end of the 5 minutes I bring the group back together. "I would like each of you to place your block creations on your desks. I am going to give you a couple of minutes to walk around and see if they are all the same or if you all built different things from the same cubes that you started with." I let students walk around for several minutes until they have had a chance to see all of the creations.Looking at our different designs I want them to see that from the same basic cubes everyone was able to take the cube apart and put it together in a novel way.
I ring the bell and ask students to come to the rug. When they are settled I ask, "what did you notice about the creations around the room?" I let students share their observations.
"Why do you think that we all came up with something different?" (we had different ideas, we each built our own thing...). "I asked you at the beginning if it is always possible to take something apart and put it back together in a different way. Some of you said yes and some said no. What do you think now?" I ask students to close their eyes because I know that second graders like to be part of the group so if most people raise their hands, the others will follow suit even if they don't agree so when I really want opinions, I have students close their eyes before voting. "Raise your hand if you think it is always possible to take something apart and put it together in a new way." (I count hands) "Now raise your hand if you don't think it is possible to always take something apart and put it together in a new way." (I count hands again and have students open their eyes.) "We still don't all agree that you can always, or not always take things apart and put them together in different ways. What might we do to test this idea out?"
I encourage students to be a part of the design of classroom investigations whenever possible. In this case we have a question which is "can you always take something apart and put it together in different ways," and I want students to take part in designing an investigation to help us figure out an answer.
Designing An Investigation
I let students suggest ways that we might test if it is always possible to take things apart and put them back together in novel ways. I record their ideas on the easel. In order to insure that everyone has a chance to be heard, I use the talking ball. I have students pass the ball. Each student may share an idea, or comment on the idea of a classmate.
Once everyone has shared an idea, or made a comment, I read the list that we have generated. I have put a check mark next to ideas that others commented on. "We have a long list of ideas here to investigate our question of whether it is always possible to take things apart and put them together in new ways. Which ones do you think we might possibly do in the classroom?" I take suggestions and put check marks next to the suggestions that students think are possible, such as take apart a pencil sharpener, build with legos and have someone else take it apart and build something new, take apart a small toy and put it back together, etc. I also comment on any that I don't think would be possible in the classroom, and cross these off the list.
I say, "we have some good ideas here. We will vote on 4 of them that we want to try in our next science session."
I let students vote on their top 2 choices and then we circle the 4 most popular choices that we will use to investigate our question.
I tell students that we will need to develop a list of materials before we can be done for today.
We create a materials list for our 4 investigations. I promise to have those materials ready for our next lesson.
I ask students to look back at the I can statement. Did we take something apart today and put it together in a new way? (Yes). Now I say, "we want to know if it is always possible to take something apart this way. I want you to write in your journal whether you think it is always possible to take something apart and put it back together in a new way, and why you think so."
I use the journal entries to assess how well students understand the idea that things are made up of small parts that can be combined in novel ways.
Students will use their journal entries in the next lesson as they record what they discover.