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In this lesson, students can Build a Car (an Index Card Car)
Math, Science, Social Studies
8, 7, 5, 6, 4
By – Linda Newcome
Subject – Math, Science, Social Studies
Grade Level – 4th-8th
Objectives: Students will work in pairs using given materials to design and build a car from given materials. Students will learn cooperatively. Develop problem solving and critical thinking skills. Work with a limited amount of materials. Discuss the difficulty of completing the activity with given materials. Cite changes that could be made to help the project if done again.
Skills: math, science, social studies, art, language, listening skills
Materials: 3×5 index cards, (1) plastic straw, (1) cubic inch rubber eraser, posterboard for ramp
Procedures: Teacher will pair students in groups of two or three to work on given activity. Teacher will instruct students as to what their job will be. 1. Construct a ramp using one sheet of posterboard only. One ramp will be 30 degrees incline at the back, the second ramp will be 45 degrees incline at the back. 2. Explain to the students that using only the 2 3×5 index cards and a straw, they will be responsible for creating a car that will roll down the ramp carrying the cubic inch rubber eraser.
The teacher is not allowed to help just circulate around, watch, and listen to the minds problem solving. To make it even tougher maybe set a time limit of 15 minutes. I allow 4th and 5th graders at least 30 minutes. At the end of time, take the students to an area that is clear, set up the ramps, and allow them to have a race off.
When you are finished with the race off discuss why this happened or that didn’t, how could they change their design, what was their first thoughts about using only 2 index cards and a straw.
Evaluation: rubric; 25pts. group work, 25pts. completion of activity, 25pts. presentation, 25pts. class discussion.
I promise the students that we will do this again at the end of the school year. Then watch the difference in designs.
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