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*This lesson coincides with whack on the other side, from A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech.
Lesson written by: Minka Scheele-Brown & Holly Weber
Grade level range: 2 grade and up
Length of time to teach lesson: 30 minutes
Overview of lesson: Students will be presented with a design challenge to construct a tower 8 inches or higher and able to support a paperback book. They will have assorted materials and must use 3 or more different kinds in the construction. They will have 10 minutes to build and then an additional 1 minute to share their idea with a slogan or sales pitch in a “Shark Tank” format.
Objective (Learning target) of this lesson: Students will practice mental flexibility through adopting the four different roles of the creative process in a tower design challenge.
Step-by-step teaching instructions for the lesson:
Assemble material tubs for students to explore and use in their tower construction, such as cups, construction paper, popsicle sticks, rubber bands, string, tape etc.
Copy handouts and challenge instructions for students.
Explain directions before setting the timer.
When students are satisfied with their tower, have them brainstorm a slogan or sales pitch to convince a peer or the teacher that the design is worthy of investment.
Allow time for students to reflect on how they used each of the roles in the design process and Shark Tank presentation.
Special Notes from the creators of this lesson:
A suggested math extension or challenge element would be to set a budget for their tower and assign monetary values for different building materials.