Lesson 4

A Work In Process: Improving a Play Dough Process

Improving a Play Dough Process / Kindergarten / West Palm Beach, FL

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - A Work in Process: Improving a Play Dough Process, L4

Students apply their knowledge of solids, liquids, mixtures, and chemical engineering as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve a play dough making process. 

Reflection Questions

Lori spends the first part of the lesson reviewing activities done yesterday. What findings does she review and why are they important?

Lori’s introduction includes all the information that students need to connect today’s activity to previous work and to remind them of previous observations that will help them modify the recipe today.

  • First, Lori summarizes what they observed from mixing ingredients. She reminds them that more flour made the play dough less sticky and more salt made the play dough grainy. (0:35)
  • Lori reviews the standard seven-step process for play dough making so that all children will remember to use the same procedure. (0:49)
  • Lori reviews the tests that the students used to help them define high- and low-quality play dough. She guides students to focus their attention on properties like softness and usability when judging their new play dough. (1:25)

Lori has anticipated that the mechanics of this lesson may be difficult for her students and has prepared accordingly. What plans has she made to avoid confusion?

Lori’s primary learning goal is for students to understand that they can use their knowledge to modify a play dough making process. She reduces potential distractions by measuring standard quantities, and inviting extra hands into the class to help manage materials. 

  • Lori has pre-measured all the dry ingredients for students to avoid the mess and inconsistency that would occur if 5-year olds portioned ingredients. (2:28)
  • Lori mentions that she has extra aides (moms and teachers) in the class that day to help students with the water. (2:35)
  • Students who want additional flour for their recipes are expected to raise their hands, and an adult will come to the group and add extra scoops to their bowls. (8:38)