08 May 2013

Wednesday Works - Factory Design with 3rd grade

 When I was in 3rd grade, I remember drawing very detailed little scenes with people and houses.  My kids draw army men battles or scenes with small people moving parts of buildings around with small trucks and construction equipment.   This lesson came from those sequential images this age group seems to gravitate toward.

 Each student was given the task of being the owner of a large factory that makes an item of their choice.  The first part of the lesson is spent in planning our "final product" and talking about the raw materials needed to make the final item.   Then we watched a few short clips of the show "How it's Made"


and Erasers...

We looked closely at all the machinery and mechanics used to transport things through the manufacturing process such as conveyor belts, gears, mechanical arms, etc. 

Students used stencils if they wished and began drawing a transparent-walled factory, showing us all the floors and inner workings.

Along the way I would mention things they may want to include in the factory creation.  For example, if people worked there, wouldn't they need lights to be able to see?   How about switches to turn things on?

If robots or mechanical things worked there, what do you do if something breaks?  Where is the tool kit? Etc.

This spurred them into even more small details they hadn't originally though of.

Last up was adding some color...

I've asked other older grade levels what they thought about this lesson and they almost all said it was one of their favorites.  They loved being able to draw the details, trace a sequential path of building the item through their factory, and the very best part was sharing what they drew with others in the class.

We take a few minutes at the end of the class to swap tables and pair up to show what we've done so far. 

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