Lesson 2

Thinking Inside the Box: Designing Plant Packages

Who are Packaging Engineers? / Grade 4 / Winthrop, MA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - Thinking Outside the Box: Designing Plant Packages, L2

Students think like packaging engineers as they examine and identify the functions of a wide variety of packages.

Reflection Questions

How does Lesson 2 help deepen Rosemary’s students’ appreciation of package engineers?

All Rosemary’s students are familiar with packaging, but Lesson 2 helps them look at a common item through the eyes of an engineer. 

  • When comparing and contrasting water bottles, students identify and consider the importance of each package function (communicate, contain, dispense). (3:06)
  • During group discussions, students consider the reasons for various package features such as ribbed surfaces or easy open tabs. (6:58)
  • Students practice their own package design skills when they make suggestions for how to improve the package they examined. (10:29)


What evidence do you see that Rosemary spent time preparing for the lesson?

Rosemary brought in packages from home and prepared package function vocabulary cards. 

  • Based on information in the in the EiE guide, Rosemary chose an interesting set of packages that allowed students to analyze the functions of a package in terms of the product and the intended consumer. (5:13)
  • By cutting up pages {2-1} through {2-4} of the teacher’s guide, Rosemary created vocabulary cards that showed the seven package functions and their definitions. She mounted these cards on her white board with magnets. (1:15)