The objective of this lesson is for children to design machines or vehicles to solve problems and to investigate how machines work together to complete a project.
Hold up a couple of the LEGO® DUPLO® figures.
Tell the children that the city where the figures live has no outside places where children can play.
Explain that they are in desperate need of a new park but that building a new park is a big project.
Tell the children that the city needs help planning for this big project and talk to them about the different pieces of equipment they would need for such a project (e.g., a digger to move and flatten the ground or a wheelbarrow to haul smaller materials and debris).
Ask the children to build a piece of equipment to help with the park project.
Explain that they may use the building cards for inspiration, or design their own machine or vehicle.
Help the children as needed to attach some of the more difficult parts.
If a child finishes quickly ask them to build another piece of equipment, tell them that several pieces of equipment are needed to complete the project.
Once the children have finished building, ask each child to share their model(s) with the group and describe how it will help with the park building project.
Facilitate a discussion about the children’s models.
Ask questions like:
- Which part of the project would your piece of equipment help with?
- Would it be used during the whole project or only for part of it? Why?
Encourage the children to demonstrate how their piece of equipment would help with building the park.
Tell the children that the city wants to provide transportation so people can easily visit the new park.
Ask them to build a vehicle that can hold one or two passengers.
Have them demonstrate how the vehicle transports the passenger(s) to the park.
Did you notice?
Observing the following skills can help you monitor whether the children are developing the necessary competencies:
- Science - Using strategy and planning to solve problems
- Technology - Asking questions about technology-related concepts
- Engineering - Investigating, asking questions, making observations, and gathering information to inform the design of machines or tools
- Engineering - Participating in the engineering process by designing, building, and testing models
- Math - Using spatial awareness to understand objects and how they move
- Design machines or vehicles to solve problems
- Investigate how machines work together to complete a project
- Discuss sequence of events
- Explore roles related to projects
For up to 4 children
The learning guidelines from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Head Start, and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been used to develop the Tech Machines lessons. This Teacher Guide focuses on the learning values for math, science, and engineering. Please refer to the learning grid for an overview of the learning values referenced throughout the lessons. The learning goals listed at the end of each lesson can be used to determine whether each child is developing the relevant skills. These bullet points target specific skills or pieces of information that are practiced or presented during each lesson.