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SAVY 2019: Session 4, Day 4 – Creative Contraptions (Ms. Tyson) (Rising 1st/2nd)

Posted by on Thursday, July 11, 2019 in Grade 1, Grade 2, SAVY.

To continue to practicing the inventor’s technique of flexible thinking to deepen the ability to brainstorm solutions to solve problems, we read the book: Addy-Matic, and then we did a flexible thinking activity called: Be the Thing. Students were told to imagine that they were a box. Then they answered three questions and shared them whole group (we used the pause button strategy to guide students not to say the first thing that popped into their heads, but to wait a minute to allow their brains to process possible answers). The questions were: How do you feel?, What are your thoughts?, and What will you do? With each sequential question that was posed, the flexible thinking increased! This is an easy activity to do at home, even around the dinner table because all can participate. Here are some other examples you could use for this activity: ruler, ketchup bottle, sandels, etc. This comes from a book I have and it is a great resource, called Sparking Student Creativity.

We discussed the difference between discovery and invention, to make sure we knew how the word meanings are different, and we came up with some great ideas, including to discover is to find, but invention is to create something new. Next, we were ready to look at the phrase: “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”. There were some perplexed looks, but after recalling some of the inventors we have learned about, we were able to see how a problem can lead to an innovation purely out of need. That led us to the beginning of creating our own problem-based inventions! We have learned how valuable it is to brainstorm ideas with others, so we divided into two groups with the goal of identifying real world problems that could be solved by modifying a simple or complex machine to solve a problem. After we brainstormed, we all worked independently to begin drafting plans, and materials we would need. Everyone got a great start. We will finish tomorrow, before the Open House!

At the end of our day, we got some hands-on lab experiments with three simple machines including making a pulley, using an inclined plane to lift a load, and learning how to use a lever as a balance. We are looking forward to seeing you all at the Open House tomorrow between 3:15-3:45. Our young inventors have been soaking up learning and gaining experience and confidence in the process of creating inventions.  Don’t be surprised if your little inventor is ready to turn a plan and a prototype into an actual product!

Ms. Tyson


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