Author:
Carrie Robledo, Tomika Altman
Subject:
English Language Arts, Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Level:
Lower Primary
Tags:
  • First Grade
  • NCEngineers
  • Science
  • Stem
  • k5engineers
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    Peter Rabbit, Mr. McGreely, Bunnies, and Me

    Peter Rabbit, Mr. McGreely, Bunnies, and Me

    Overview

    Students can work collaboratively in small groups of 3-4 students for this engineering design unit that integrates literacy to explore forces and motion (pushes or pulls).  Students will design a way to safely keep bunnies out of a garden.

    Instructor Directions

     

     

    Peter Rabbit, Mr. McGreely, Bunnies, and Me

    Submitted by Tomika Altman

    Chapel Hill- Carrboro City Schools

     

     

    Driving Question / ScenarioHow can we safely keep bunnies out of a garden without harming them?
    Project SummaryStudents can work collaboratively in small groups of 3-4 students for this engineering design unit that integrates literacy to explore forces and motion (pushes or pulls).  Students will design a way to safely keep bunnies out of a garden.
    Estimated TimeApproximately 2.5 hours or a 5-day science and literacy-integrated lesson for 30 minutes.
    • Day 1: Read stories aloud...Peter Rabbit during literacy and Muncha Muncha during science and discuss the engineering design process. Stop reading Muncha Muncha before Mr. McGreely’s design.  (Ask and Imagine)
    • Day 2: Introduce the engineering design challenge, materials, and demonstrate the pop-up or wind-up chicks/bunnies.  Allow students to design a plan in their engineering notebooks (labeled sketches and materials listed before they build). (Imagine and Plan)
    • Day 3: Students will continue planning and create their models. (Imagine, Plan, and Create)
    • Day 4: Students will share their plans and creations and test them out with the teacher and make improvements if necessary. (Create,  Improve, Plan, Create, Improve)
    • Day 5: The entire class will share their models and reflect on this experience. (The Engineering Design Process)  
    Materials / ResourcesBooks: Muncha! Muncha! By Candace Fleming and The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter Various materials that you can find around the classroom such as yarn, string, construction paper, cardboard, glue, scissors, tape, crayons or markers, clay/PlayDoh, pipe cleaners (chenille stems), index cards, popsicle sticks, yarn, rubberbands, and etc.Recyclable materials that students can bring from home: shoeboxes and paper towel or toilet paper rolls.Speciality/Seasonal items that can be found at Dollar Stores, Target, Walmart and etc in the Spring or you can order from: Wind-Up Chicks and Bunnies (Amazon)  Wind-Up Bunny (Michaels)A small  (3x5 or 4x6) printed photo of a vegetable garden or LEGO bricks or plastic toy vegetables to represent the garden
    Grade1st Grade
    Subject(s)Science and Literacy
    Educational Standards
    • 1.P.1 Understand how forces (pushes or pulls) affect the motion of an object.
    • 1.RL.3 Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story using key details.
    • 1.RL.9 Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
    • (Optional) 1.RL.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
    Classifying Objective
    • Students will participate in the engineering design process and create a model to keep bunnies out of a garden.  Students will analyze their design (drawings, sketches, and thinking in their engineering notebooks) and use such to create a prototype (a model) and share their thinking with their classmates.
    • If utilizing  the literacy standards, students will be able to describe characters, settings, and major events of the stories, compare and contrast Peter Rabbit (Potter) and the Bunnies (Fleming) and the gardeners Mr McGregor (Potter) and McGreely (Fleming) experiences, and use this information for their engineering design project.
    Project Outline
    AskWhat is the best way to keep bunnies out of gardens without harming them, but still allow the gardeners, sunlight, and rain to get through?
    ImagineThink back to the stories Muncha Muncha and The Tales of Peter Rabbit. Imagine that you are gardeners Mr. McGreely or McGregor and that bunnies keep getting into your garden and eating your vegetables. You have to design a way to keep bunnies out without harming them.  The teacher will share the garden (a printed photo, LEGO model, or play vegetables) .  Lead students in a discussion on what they should create in order to keep the bunnies out and list their various suggestions on an anchor chart. (ex. A fence, put stakes up, place shrubs, traps, noisemakers, and etc.) Allow students to  brainstorm independently (draw pictures and write about their thoughts) before allowing them to work in collaborative groups.
    PlanExplain to students that they will work in small groups to complete this engineering design challenge.  Show the various materials (with the exception of the wind-up bunnies) to students and tell them they will be allowed to use these materials to develop their model; however they must list all the materials they would like to use, draw illustrations, and list the steps in their engineer notebooks. The teacher can provide sentence frames for students if needed. Ex. The materials we will need are _____.  We will use the ______ to ______. First, Next, Then, Last and etc. An optional sheet engineer design sheet is provided.
    CreateProvide students with the materials that they selected and wrote about in their engineering notebooks and allow them to build their models.  Inform students that they will only be allowed to test their models twice with the toy bunnies.
    ImproveAfter students have designed and created their models allow students to test out their design with the toy bunnies.  Depending on the size of the class allow 2-3 teams to observe and test their models. Encourage students to write about what they noticed and wondered about their team’s design and the design of other teams. Allow students to improve upon their model if desired.
    Closure / Student ReflectionsFinish reading Muncha Muncha and discuss Mr. McGreely’s design and the surprise ending.  Allow each team to share and test out their design. Discuss how their designs compare and contrasts to Mr. McGreely’s design and other designs in the classroom. Allow students to reflect what they liked about each team’s design and journal about this  experience.  Time permitting, discuss the anchor chart students created before participating in this design challenge.  Did anyone make any of the designs suggested? Why or Why Not? If they did, were they successful? Why or Why not?
    Possible Modifications / Extensions
    • Students can use nonstandard measure “cubes” to find the distance (length) that bunnies have to go from a specified point in order to get in the garden. (1.MD.1)
    • Students can collect, organize, represent, and interpret data. Example, how many students kept bunnies out of the garden.  How many students' designs worked on the first try?   (1.MD.4)
    • Literacy and Technology Integration:
    • Students can “publish” their engineering notebooks by writing “how-to” stories about this experience.  Ex. How to Keep Bunnies Out of a Garden and/or listing the steps so students can conduct the experience at home
    • Students can use Google Slides to create their books.
    • Students can use Seesaw to document this experience.
    • Students can use Flipgrid to share their thinking throughout this design.
    • Students can use ScratchJr to code a game about keeping bunnies out of a garden.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Peter Rabbit, Mr. McGreely, Bunnies, and Me

    Engineering Design Team Member Names: __________________________________

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

     

    Materials We Would Like to Use and How We Plan to Use Them: ___________________________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    ___________________________________________________________________________________


    Steps to Complete Our Design:

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

     __________________________________________________________________________________

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

     

    Draw and Label Your Design:

     

    After we tested our design, we noticed: _______________________________________

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    ___________________________________________________________________________________


    One way we could improve our design might be to: __________________________

     __________________________________________________________________________________

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

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    Draw and Label Your Improved Design:

     

    After we made changes to our design we noticed that:

    • it improved our design
    • there was no change from the previous design
    • It did not improve our design

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________