Optional Teaching Supplies

Materials for this Unit

Many EiE lessons use materials that are commonly available at grocery, hardware, or craft stores. To obtain kit materials, either visit our EiE store to purchase a kit that includes materials for up to 30 students, or create your own kit based on the materials list printed in the teacher guide or the downloadable list below.

Each unit includes a letter to send home with student for materials donation for the unit. Click here to download a copy of this letter in Spanish.

Additional Storybooks for Classroom Use

Storybooks introduce each unit with the tale of a child somewhere around the world who solves a problem through engineering. The books integrate literacy and social studies into the unit and illustrate for students the relevance of STEM subjects. 

Explore the Lessons

Students think about what technology is and are introduced to the idea that engineers design technologies.

Supporting Materials for this Lesson

Videos
What is Technology? / Grade 4 / Worcester, MA

Students think about what technology is and are introduced to the idea that engineers design technologies.

Extension Lessons

What are Extension Lessons?

Extension Lessons use EiE activities as a springboard to more directly reinforce other curricular concepts.

View all Extension Lessons »

Galya and Natasha may be identical twins, but they have different interests. Natasha loves being outside; Galya would rather curl up with a good book. Their mother’s work as an archeologist takes them to Lake Onego, far from their home in St. Petersburg, Russia. When they discover a replica of an ancient petroglyph, or stone carving, the twins' interests start to merge. With the help of a family friend who’s a materials engineer, they explore ways to create their own replicas.

Download a PDF of our storybook illustrations.
 

Supporting Materials for this Lesson

Sample Classroom Video
Galya and Natasha's Rocky Adventure / Grade 2 / Louisville, KY
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EiE - Solid as a Rock: Replicating an Artifact Lesson 1

Reflection Questions

What strategies do you see Laura using to keep her young students engaged and involved in the storybook?

Laura uses visual aids and props to help her students connect to the location of the story, and reviews the storybook using an active, hands-on technique.

  • Laura has the map of the world easily accessible while reading the storybook to show the students where they are geographically located compared to the storybook characters. (0:36)
  • Laura offers students a hands-on learning experience by tossing them inflatable globes and asking them to find Russia. (0:56)
  • Laura reviews the storybook with her students by having them represent with their arms whether they think her statements are true or false. (4:07)

How does Laura use Lesson 1 to lay the foundation for the engineering design challenge to come in lesson 4?

Laura highlights the key points of the Engineering Design Process throughout the lesson and uses visual and hands-on learning tools to hint at the design challenge to come later in the unit.

  • Laura shows the class a set of real rocks and prompts her students to think about which ones would be the best to carve into. (5:26)
  • Laura creates her own visual representation of the Engineering Design Process and has her students use clothespins to mark Gayla and Natasha’s movement through the process. (5:09)
  • Laura explains the flexible nature of the Engineering Design Process to her students. (7:02)
Galya and Natasha's Rocky Adventure / Grade 3 / Tuscon, AZ
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EiE - Solid as a Rock: Replicating an Artifact Lesson 1

Reflection Questions

What teaching strategies do you see Karissa using to engage students with diverse language proficiencies in her class?

Karissa challenges her English speakers to speak in complete sentences, and to join in the kinesthetic learning of vocabulary words. This creates an atmosphere where students learn from one another.

  • Karissa carefully sounds out vocabulary words so students can hear the word broken down by syllable. (1:25, 1:46)
  • Karissa has students repeat the EDP steps back to her. (2:25)
  • Karissa reviews the three types of rocks through kinesthetic learning. (2:57–3:32)

How does Karissa reference the Engineering Design Process (EDP) to scaffold students’ understanding of the EDP?

Karissa references the EDP periodically as she reads the storybook. Additionally, she has students complete the EDP Worksheet. Both of these methods help her students learn the steps of the EDP.

  • Karissa explains how Galya and Natasha will solve their problem by using the EDP. (2:43)
  • Karissa explains how the two main characters in the story both approached the process differently, but ended up doing the same steps of the EDP. (3:51–4:54)
  • The class completes the EDP worksheet (1-7) to check students’ understanding of the EDP steps. (5:20)

Students think like materials engineers as they conduct experiments on two different cotton fabrics and compare their properties.

Supporting Materials for this Lesson

Sample Classroom Video
Stringing Things Together / Grade 2 / Louisville, KY
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EiE - Solid as a Rock: Replicating an Artifact Lesson 2

Reflection Questions

Where in the video do you see Laura building her students’ vocabulary skills?

Laura takes every opportunity to introduce, reinforce, and reward usage of new vocabulary words.

  • Laura introduces the word “durability” and reinforces the meaning by using hand gestures. (03:29)
  • Laura asks the class for a synonym for the word “multiple.” (7:39)
  • Laura provides positive reinforcement to her students for using new vocabulary to describe the properties of materials. (6:56)

What strategies does Laura use to deepen her students’ understanding of the properties of materials and how certain materials are processed?

Laura brings in visual props and engages students in hands-on exploration of materials.

  • Laura brings in a cotton plant and prompts the class to think about how it went from being a fluffy plant material to the fabric used to make a t-shirt. (0:46-1:12)
  • Before doing any tests, Laura passes out samples of terry and twill to her class and asks small groups to discuss what they observe about the material. (1:58-2:37)
  • After her students have conducted durability tests on the terry and twill, Laura engages the whole class by having each student hold up the sample they think is the most durable. (4:47-5:16)
Stringing Things Together / Grade 3 / Tuscon, AZ
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EiE - Solid as a Rock: Replicating an Artifact Lesson 2

Reflection Questions

What techniques does Karissa use to help her English Learner students?

Many of Karissa’s students are English Learners and need extra guidance when it comes to vocabulary, understanding, and new concepts. Karissa brings the whole class into the discussion to keep them engaged.

  • Karissa asks the class what challenging words like “observe” and “durability” mean so that all of her students can learn or recall the definitions. (0:22, 5:35)
  • Karissa challenges her students to answer questions in complete sentences, modeling good speaking habits for others. (1:02, 1:10)
  • Karissa uses a visual aid (a Venn Diagram) to compare the differences and similarities between two materials. (1:12)
  • By using hand gestures, Karissa is able to convey ideas about properties more easily to her class. (3:06 – 3:27)

Where does Karissa use real world examples to help her students relate to their studies of properties?

Karissa uses learning opportunities to tie her student’s lives to their classroom work.

  • Karissa has one student compare the material she’s investigating to the sweater she’s wearing because they have similar properties. (2:40–2:55)
  • Kate shares in her interview that she asked her students to question why people use cloth towels instead of paper towels to dry themselves after a bath. (7:20–7:36)

Students perform controlled experiments to identify properties of a variety of rocks and human-made materials.

Supporting Materials for this Lesson

Sample Classroom Video
Material Properties / Grade 2 / Louisville, KY
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EiE - Solid as a Rock: Replicating an Artifact Lesson 3

Reflection Questions

What does Laura do to help her students focus their attention on the physical features of rocks?

Laura uses several different teaching methods to have her students think critically about the properties of rocks and human-made materials.

  • Laura has her students reflect on their observations of the properties of materials out loud. (2:42)
  • Laura presents riddle cards to her students as a way for them to identify the different properties of rocks and human-made materials. (3:22)
  • After Laura has her students conduct a hardness test on the materials, she asks them the purpose of the hardness test.  This kind of questioning allows her students to think systematically about what they are doing during the lesson and to use the knowledge they’re gaining later in the design challenge. (9:03)

How does Laura’s advanced preparation of materials help her keep the lesson flowing smoothly?

Laura demonstrates excellent organizational skills by preparing the materials used for lesson 3 ahead of time.

  • Laura creates her own envelope addressed to her class from the Museum of Science, which further supports her students considering the design challenge in the context of a problem and keeps them involved and engaged. (0:22)
  • Laura has materials for observation pre-prepared on a tray, which saves time during the lesson and provides clarity for her students as they observe the materials they’ll be working with during the design challenge. (2:13)
  • Laura prints out a large version of the hardness test directions for her students to refer to as they conduct their test.  This provides clarity for her students and serves as a reference point as they engage with the materials. (7:50)
Material Properties / Grade 3 / Tuscon, AZ
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EiE - Solid as a Rock: Replicating an Artifact Lesson 3

Reflection Questions

How does Karissa support her students to meet the objectives of Lesson 3?

Karissa provides time for thoughtful reflection as a class and in-depth exploration of materials in small groups.

  • As a full class, Karissa encourages students to ask questions about the design challenge, allowing them the time and space to think critically about how they will evaluate their materials. (0:28)
  • Karissa gives her students the opportunity to do hands-on exploration of the materials they’ll be working with in the design challenge in small groups and encourages them to make observations about their properties. (2:30)
  • Karissa has her students conduct a controlled test in small groups to study the hardness and durability of their materials. (4:38)

In what ways does Karissa give her students opportunities to come to their own understanding about which materials may be best to replicate their artifact?

Through testing materials and sharing out results, Karissa’s students realize that some materials are better than others for replicating their artifact.

  • Karissa’s students begin to solidify their understanding of the properties of materials when Karissa guides them to describe the materials they are exploring and then pick their top choices. (3:28–4:31)
  • After Karissa’s students share out the results of their hardness test, Karissa has them specifically name the materials that would not suitable for replicating their artifact (6:49).

Students apply their knowledge of materials as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve their own replicas of an artifact.

Supporting Materials for this Lesson

Sample Classroom Video
Replicating an Artifact / Grade 2 / Louisville, KY
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EiE - Solid as a Rock: Replicating an Artifact Lesson 4

Reflection Questions

What strategies does Laura use to help her students practice effective communications skills?

Laura uses prompts and engaging methods to encourage her students to communicate effectively.

  • Laura asks a student why she chose limestone as a material to carve into, and reinforces written communication by encouraging her to record her verbal response. (1:04)
  • Laura has her students get low to the ground and pop up as a way to communicate what material they chose to carve into. (3:03)
  • Groups volunteer to talk about why they chose their material and draw upon their written plans to support their verbal explanations. (3:58)

Where in the lesson do you see Laura facilitating effective teamwork?

Students work and collaborate in teams throughout the plan, create, and improve steps of the Engineering Design Process.

  • Laura facilitates small-group reflection with her students, encouraging them to come to a consensus on the material they chose for the design challenge. (2:28)
  • Laura establishes a process for taking turns so that all students get a chance to carve into their rock during the create step of the Engineering Design Process. (6:07)
  • Laura supports students as they think together about how to lower their score and come to a final decision about what material to choose for the improve step of the Engineering Design Process. (9:44)
Replicating an Artifact / Grade 3 / Tucson, AZ
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EiE - Solid as a Rock: Replicating an Artifact Lesson 4

Reflection Questions

How do students use prior knowledge and established criteria to make informed decisions about their design choices?

Students reflect back on their past experiences in Lesson 3 to make informed decisions for their design challenge.

  • One group of students realizes they shouldn’t use marble, because based off the packing score criteria, it would be too heavy. (0:56)
  • One group of students refers to their notes on the hardness and durability test they performed in lesson 3 to determine that wax was not the best material for their design challenge, and ultimately decides on using alabaster. (1:02)

In what ways, and in what parts of the lesson, does Karissa reinforce the idea that engineering involves a process of unique steps?

Karissa names each step of the Engineering Design Process as students work.

  • Karissa explicitly calls out the imagine step (0:22), the plan step (0:38), the create step (2:27), and the improve step (4:30) of the EDP by name and tells students what is expected of them in each step.
  • Karissa reminds one group to have flexibility in their initial design, because they can always change it when they improve. (4:12)