This week at the Tinkering Lab, the Grade 1 children continue to build upon their pyramid structures. They completed the base, and are currently in the process of building the sides. Together, they are assessing which material and tools would work best for specific tasks, such as cutting and attaching materials together. Combining both mathematical and design skills, they measure and cut the appropriate materials into the correct shapes to create the structure. After the groups conferred to decide what their next steps would be. I asked some to share their thinking with the rest.
- “We are thinking about putting cardboard on the sides, golden ribbons and sparkles like a pattern. Then we put one section of dairy products and all the other products,” VG reflected.
- “Some of us wanted wood, others wanted cardboard. We decided to vote. People who voted for the wood, they understood why we didn’t pick wood. They agreed wood is not easy to cut,” MM added.
- “JK wanted to use glue gun to stick the pieces of cardboard for the sides. We are going to cut triangles for the door and have a handle to open the door of the pyramid,” SB commented.
The children are thinking creatively and analytically. After doing some research on the food pyramid, they began to question the design of the traditional food pyramid, which is traditionally made up of the five food groups; bread and grains, milk and dairy products, meat and alternatives, fruit and vegetables. As a result, they have decided to add two more groups to the pyramid; oils and fats, and sugars, and place them as the top two layers of the pyramid. They believe these two food groups should be eaten in smaller quantities than the rest, and should therefore be represented by a smaller surface area at the top of the pyramid. Overall, this activity is allowing the children to merge their knowledge of science, mathematics and design. Their collaborative skills continue to develop, as they feed on each other’s strengths. This cross-disciplinary approach better prepares the children for the realities of the world, where lines between disciplines are blurred and one must use a combination of skills for tasks.