Lesson Plan

Gifted and Talented Playground Design

Gifted and talented students use iPads to create a proposal to upgrade the playground
Katie R.
Media specialist/librarian
South Penn Elementary
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts

Students will be able to...

  • Use an app on the iPad to learn more about playground design.
  • Analyze the pros and cons of our current playground.
  • Discuss what changes need to be made.
  • Design objects or ideas for a playground upgrade.
  • Create a presentation to propose the new playground design.
English Language Arts
Grades 3 - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Investigating
  • Introduce the lesson by telling the students that we will be thinking of ways to improve our school playground.
  • Instruct the students to think of ways to make it cleaner, look better, and to provide more meaningful outdoor play.
  • Take the students outside to investigate the playground; students can take pictures/videos with ipads and write notes.
Student Instructions
  • Think about the pros and cons of our playground.
  • Think about ways we could make it cleaner, prettier, and more useful (think about how we play).
  • Investigate the playground by taking pictures or videos with the ipad, and by writing notes on what you see/think.

2 Direct Instruction

  • Teach the students how to use the Playground Inspirations app to find ideas and information about playground design.
  • Allow the students to learn by using the app; Instruct them to take the good parts of what they find and write notes on the information. 
Student Instructions
  • Use the Playground Inspirations app to gather ideas and important information (such as why a playground has certain layouts or structures).
  • Collect notes on the ideas you get from the information in the app.

3 Guided practice

Free, Paid
  • Teach the students how to use the app SketchUp
  • Assign small student groups to various sections of the playground.
  • Instruct students to work collaboratively create a design for the layout and structures they wish to include in their section.
Student Instructions
  • Use SketchUp to design the layout and structures for a section of the playground

4 Individual Practice

Free to Try, Paid
Free, Paid

Instruct the students to create a proposal for our playground ideas using one of the presentation technology tools (glogster, imovie, prezi, or slideshare).

Student Instructions

Use glogster, imovie, prezi, or slideshare to create a presentation for a proposal of our playground ideas

5 Wrap-Up

Free to Try, Paid
Free, Paid

Allow the students to present their proposals to our group.
Have the group vote for the presentation they liked the best, in order to present the proposal to the principal.

Student Instructions

Present your proposal.
Vote for the one you think we should present to the principal.