July 22, 2015
By Rekha Mundkur

Lesson plan

Pipe Construction

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Students will learn how to put pieces of pipes together to make a structure.

(5 minutes)
  • Put on a play construction hat and invite your students to circle time to construct a super structure.
  • Read a book about construction that shows how things are put together to make a structure.
  • Tell students that today they are going to be construction engineers and build a structure out of plastic pipes.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring out the box with the pieces of pipes and connectors.
  • Show students how the connectors attach pipes together.
  • Caution your students about watching how they connect the pipes so as to not get their fingers pinched.
  • Construct a structure with a few pipe pieces and connectors. Start out with a simple structure and when they gain more confidence, more complex structures can be designed.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand each student a pipe and a connector.
  • Go around the circle, having students add their pieces one at a time until all students have contributed.
  • Give assistance to struggling students.
(10 minutes)
  • Divide students in to small teams.
  • Have the teams build simple structures together. Allow them to think where to affix the pipe using the connector.
  • Tell them it is okay if the structure falls down because it allows them to think of a better way to fix it.
  • Provide suggestions if necessary. Ask the teams to use the pieces in a new way to see if the structure will hold up.
  • Listen to their conversations to see how they are trying to solve problems.
  • Ask questions to get them to think about a better solution.
  • Enrichment:Encourage students to build a vehicle, like a scooter. Ask students to see if a structure is more sturdy with a wide base or narrow base
  • Support:Struggling students can make more simplistic structures. Alternatively, they can build small structures to work like a marble run, making the marble or small ball move from one end to another.
(5 minutes)
  • Observe and take notes as the students are working on their own.
  • Make a note of issues that come up in their conversations, and how students solved them.
  • Ask questions on what the teams are building and how are they are ensuring that their structure won't fall apart.
  • If you have to provide a lot of assistance, it means more practise is needed.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to join you for group time.
  • Ask them questions about how they worked to build new things. Encourage them to talk about their structures and how they made it work.
  • If you noticed some areas the students struggled in, go over those concepts.

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