This activity gets children thinking about everyday objects. These can be objects found in the classroom, strange and unusual objects you have collected, or objects which the children bring in from home.
1) Choose an object.
2) During a spare moment during the day, take some time to discuss and look closely at the object. Pass it around the classroom and get the children to examine it closely.
3) Talk about the following things in relation to the object:
- What materials the object is made from.
- Why those materials have been used to make the object (links with Materials and their Properties – Science)
- How the materials were combined / changed to make the object.
- How the object works.
- How well the object has been designed.
- Would the children modify the object in any way to make it more effective in doing its job?
Depending on the object, and with the owner’s permission, the children could take apart the object in order to look more closely at it. The children could also be set some extra work based on this activity, i.e. designing an object which does the same job.
A visitor has suggested this idea…
At the end of the term, you could possibly have the students redesign one of the objects they have looked at over the term.
Marion Sherwood has made this suggestion…
I use this idea often but also include a comparison of two or so similar objects, which heightens the discussion and often makes for fun. Things like shoes etc, are always at hand and include many designer and user issues.