The wording of a challenge and the availability of tools and materials have significant impact upon the nature and scope of learning that takes place within each activity. Consider the learning focus for each of the following challenges.
What skill or knowledge might students demonstrate as they complete the challenge? Which challenges have more than one correct solution?
- Build something.
- Draw a picture of something you would like to build.
- Draw a picture of the thing that you built.
- Draw something that could be built to help you get across a river.
- Build a model of something you could use to get across a river.
- Design and build something that could be used to transport the toy car across a river that is 45 cm wide and 5 cm deep.
- Build a bridge that could be used to get the toy car across the river. Use only the materials provided.
- Using popsicle sticks and white glue, build a bridge that is wide enough for the toy car and long enough to reach across a river that is 30 cm wide. Your bridge must not have a mass greater than 150 grams and it must support, at its centre, a mass of at least 30 kilograms.
- Use the tools and materials provided to build the bridge shown in the accompanying plans.
Consider the abilities of your students and the skills you want them to develop and demonstrate. Adjust the instructions accordingly.
By Les Asselstine