Lesson 1

A Stick in the Mud: Evaluating a Landscape

TarPul Storybook / Grade 5 / Bremerton, WA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - A Stick in the Mud: Evaluating a Landscape, L1

A storybook introduces the engineering challenge and context. In this story, Suman, a boy from Nepal, learns about geotechnical engineering as he helps evaluate a site for a TarPul.

Reflection Questions

What techniques does Desiree use to keep her students actively engaged in the lesson?

Desiree uses an interactive style to keep students' attention. Her students participate in the lesson through gestures, word fill-ins, and frequent turn and talk opportunities

  • When presenting the map of Nepal, Desiree has students informally call out whether they have heard of areas like the Himalayas, India, or China.  (2:21)
  • When thinking about how Suman felt in the story, Desiree has all the kids close their eyes and imagine his situation. (4:34)
  • Before collecting ideas from the whole class, Desiree has each student share their own ideas with a partner. (4:55 and 8:20)
  • After reading how a Tar-Pul travels along the cables, Desiree has the students demonstrate for her how their hands would move it. (6:12)
  • When reading directions from the worksheet, Desiree leaves out particular words so that her students can follow along and fill them in for her as she reads. (9:07)

How does Desiree incorporate visual literacy skills during Lesson 1?

Desiree promotes the use of graphic organizers to help her students structure and record important ideas. 

  • Desiree has each student make a circle map in their notebooks to help them generate ideas about what a geotechnical engineer might do for a job.  (0:51)
  • Desiree teaches the students how to make a flow map that illustrates the sequence of steps that are followed when taking a core sample. (6:37)
  • Desiree has students keep a table of contents in the front of their notebooks so that they can easily find pages later. (7:45)