Lesson 4

A Stick in the Mud: Evaluating a Landscape

Evaluating a Landscape (1) / Grade 3 / Louisville, KY

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - A Stick in the Mud: Evaluating a Landscape, L4 P1

Students focus on the geotechnical engineering problem of evaluating a landscape as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve a site for a wire cable bridge called a TarPul. 

Reflection Questions

What evidence do you see of children understanding and assessing trade offs?

By lesson 4, Laura’s students are able to artfully discuss the variables they are trying to balance, and support their ideas with data and information gathered in earlier lessons. 

  • During group discussions after imagining, students are able to justify their choices with specifics such as: “It is close to the school and clinic and it’s on a straight part of the river,” (7:15), or comment on negatives such as: “But it’s organic soil, so it’s weak.” We also hear students referring back to the storybook and discussing whether Ajee would be able to reach farther sites if she is sick (9:25). Another group discusses erosion in terms of whether the size of the rocks in rocky soil would matter. (8:40)
  • During class shareout, groups are able to justify the site they chose while still recognizing and pointing out the site’s disadvantages. (11:05)
  • We also see students understanding why the site the village elders would prefer is not the best choice (it’s curved). (11:36)

What are some benefits of conducting a table tour to share plans as opposed to a whole-group share out?

Table tours provide a more active and engaging way for students to learn about each other's work. 

  • Students are able to look closely at each other’s work and discuss what they see with their own team. (13:40)
  • This setup also allows students to get up and move around, which can be more engaging than sitting and listening to others share. (13:50)