Creativity Lesson: Pack your Wagon

*This lesson coincides with chapter 8 (Avoid Ambiguity) from Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech.

Suggested Books (paid link)

Lesson created by Kendra Dover

Grade level range:  3-4

Length of time to teach lesson: 30-45 minutes

Overview of lesson:  Students will use a random word to inspire a connection to an essential item needed by settlers heading west through Nevada. This utilizes individual creativity to connect to classroom content. It allows students to have personal connection with the assignment while testing knowledge of what items were important to the settlers.

Objective (Learning target) of this lesson:  Students should understand the struggles that settlers faced and what items were important for their survival and success.

Resources/supplies/handouts needed to teach this lesson:  Copies of pg. 191 from A Whack on the Side of the Head, included handout, & rubric.

Teaching instructions for the lesson:

Using the list of random words on page 191 in A Whack on the Side of the Head, students will close their eyes, and select 10 words by setting their finger down on the page. They will come up with one essential item for each random word that a family would need to make a successful trip (see handout for directions).

Assessment:  Students can use the rubric to grade themselves alone or in partnerships.  Teachers can use rubric as well to give students feedback on their explanations.

Book Cover

Help Wanted on
Mont Vernon
This book combines history
and mathematics with
adorable characters to teach
kids about the many talents
of the first U.S. President.

Book Cover

The UnderAchievers:
Woven into a fun story, this
book provides excellent
math lessons for kids.  

Writing Across the Curriculum:
The NumberFix Project


Book Cover

 Wacky We-Search Reports:
A popular book on writing
across the curriculum.