Lesson Plan

Bringing History to Life with 3D Printing!

This dynamic lesson merges history and desktop fabrication to create impactful integrated learning.
August D.
Classroom teacher
Ridgewood Elementary School
Eureka, United States
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My Grades K
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will be able to...

  1. Research the historical figure (or event) of their choosing, focusing on key elements to incorporate into a design
  2. Use free software to design an object representing the subject of their research for 3D printing
  3. Create and deliver a presentation on both their research and 3D object 
Social Studies
Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Opening

Activity: Presenting

To begin this multi-day lesson, share a historic prop (or replica) related to the lesson (Better yet, share a self-designed 3D printed prop!) Use this item a pivot throughout the lesson and introducing their task, to design and 3D print their own historical prop or representation based on research. 

2 Research

Student research should focus on their selected, or assigned, historical topic and not be restricted to material found on the included tech resources. The tools and methods used to record their findings and write-up will be based on usual classroom practice.

3 Design

Student design can be done using this tool, 123D Design, via a desktop/laptop or iPad. Allow students ample time to design, and redesign, their historical props as time allows.

Don't have access to  3D printer on campus? Connect with another school, contact your local makerspace, or utilize an on-line 3D printing service, such as Shapeways.

4 Presentation

Conclude the lesson with presentations. Students should focus primarily on their historical research, but also on the the significance of their prop and the design process.