Lesson Plan

Think Like a (Kid) Designer!

Students will design a project that sparks creativity and connects to a work of literature they've read in class.
Suzy L.
Technology coordinator
Cherokee County Schools
Canton, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, English-Language Learning, Health & Wellness

Students will be able to represent a work of literature through an alternate medium, such as a product, a piece of architecture, or a film.

English Language Arts
Grades 4 – 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

After providing computer access or having students use their own devices, direct them to reimagine a familiar item that they wish they could make better.  They will draw that item on their web whiteboards and give it a caption as well.

Example:  their bedroom doors reimagined with voice activation to close when they're too tired to get back out of bed at night

They will post the links to their drawings on padlet for others to see without taking up too much class sharing time.

2 Direct Instruction

  1. The teacher will highlight and discuss a few of her favorite redesigns from the Padlet wall.  
  2. Then, she will show the "Kids Think Design" website and show students the basic interface.
  3. Assuming that the students have recently finished a novel, she will ask them to "put on the hat" of one of the types of designers.  For example, they might focus on interior design or film/theater.
  4. Using that frame of reference, they will think about the book they've finished and choose a design to represent that book.  They will use the tabs for "Think Like a Designer" and "Design a Project" to get their creative juices flowing.  For example, if they have chosen Product Design and have finished reading Holes, they might design a shovel that Stanley could use to make the job of digging holes faster.  If they've chosen interior design, they might redesign the work camp so that it's more comfortable for the boys who are sent there to work.

3 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating

Students will work on the activity introduced in the previous step, with teacher assistance as needed.

4 Assessment

Using a pre-created rubric that assesses creativity, connection to the novel read, and the final project, the teacher will allow students to present either in small groups or whole group and will assess their work.  Rubistar is a great starting place for pre-created rubrics.