Author:
Carrie Robledo
Subject:
English Language Arts, Science, STEM
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan
Level:
Preschool, Lower Primary
Tags:
  • K-5 Design Thinking
  • K-5 Engineering
  • K2.DA.03
  • K2.DA.04
  • STEM
  • k-5-design-thinking
  • k-5-engineering
  • k2-da-03
  • k2-da-04
  • k5engineers
  • stem
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    K: Huff and Puff Engineering

    K:  Huff and Puff Engineering

    Overview

    After reading various versions of The Three Little Pigs, students will plan and design houses that could protect the little pigs from the Big Bad Wolf (a hair dryer).

    Instructor Directions

    Kindergarten:  

    Huff and Puff Engineering

    Driving Question / ScenarioCan you build a house to protect your little pig from the Big Bad Wolf Hair Dryer?
    Project SummaryAfter reading various versions of The Three Little Pigs, students will plan and design houses that could protect the little pigs from the Big Bad Wolf (a hair dryer).
    Estimated Time1-2 class periods (2 if going through 2 complete engineering cycles)
    Materials / ResourcesSmall marshmallowsToothpickPig - Must fit inside house - can use printout or small plastic pigs if availableWolf face printoutPaper platesPlanning Handout
    StandardsK.P.2.1:  Classify objects by observable physical properties (including size, color, shape, texture, weight, and flexibility).
    Project Outline
    AskIntroduce students to the materials they will be using (candy dots, toothpicks, and piggy cutouts).   Have students describe the materials by their physical properties (including size, color, shape, texture, weight, and flexibility).
    ImagineHave students from groups of 2-3 students each.  In groups, have students brainstorm different ways they could use their materials to design a house the pig will fit into.
    PlanModel the planning process with the whole group using the planning sheet. Ask students in groups to develop a plan for their design and then record it onto the planning  sheet.  
    CreateUsing the plan the students created in their small group, students build the house design out of toothpicks and candy dots.  Let students know that part of the “make” portion of the engineering process is to test the design and look for ways to improve it.   Test each design with the big bad wolf hair dryer.  As you test, have students observe and identify reasons some houses were stronger than others.
    ImproveIn their small groups, students use the ideas from the whole group to plan/design their first improvement on their planning sheet.  When the improvement has been planned, students then create it using their materials.  The Big Bad Wolf Hair Dryer is used to test the new design.  Based on this test, students mark on their planning sheet if their second design was better or worse than the first.
    Closure / Student ReflectionsClose the lesson up in whole group.  Review the engineering process and how they used it to improve their designs.Review the physical properties of the materials used and how these properties helped or hurt their houses chances of blowing over (size, weight, flexibility, texture).Ask students questions such as:
    • Was your design perfect the first time we tested it?
    • How was your house design improved?
    • Was it helpful to have a plan?  Why?
    • If you could build a house with different materials, what would you use to make it stronger?
    • Is there anything else you can imagine doing to make this house even stronger?
    Possible Modifications / Extensions
    • Consider utilizing different materials based on increasing failure rates (eg gum drops, spaghetti noodles, balls of clay / play doh).
    • Consider stronger wind forces (fans or different settings on blow dryers)
    • Have students create their own 3 Little Pig stories using their own designs- they could write or record with an app like SeeSaw
    • Allow students to identify the numerous shapes that are formed by their toothpicks and talk about their different properties (squares, triangles, rectangles).  Talk about how certain shapes were stronger design ideas than others.

     


     

    Sample Pictures / Video

     

     
    Video Link - Trial Example