I call students to the gathering area. We go over the components we prepared yesterday. I tell students that today they are going to write a “How To” paragraph on how they think the flashlight will go together. When they have completed the “How To” paragraph, they will check it with me and then will begin to build from their instructions. I remind them to look at their components and remember to use all parts in their instructions.
Students sit and write their “How To” paragraphs independently (see example in the resources section, written on GoogleDocs by one of my students). They have all their components out in front of them and work through the steps of how to make their flashlight. Students check in with me and begin to build their flashlights when their instructions are complete.
I circulate among students and observe the number of prompts they need during their writing and during their building. This will help me assess the level of understanding students have.
Students bring their flashlights to me to show me how they work. They need to be able to turn them on and off, and explain how it works.
Students show each other how their flashlights work. Although there is a standard way to make the switch, in the instructions, I accept any functional switch. This seems to be the largest source of variance and creativity in this project. It shows how students problem-solve and provides interesting insight into the way some of my student’s minds work.