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Design a School Supply of the Future

Students will identify school supplies they use and then brainstorm ideas for something new that doesn't currently exist but would help them complete their work. Then they will sketch a design of their idea and create an advertisement that would encourage other students to buy it.

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, create a list of supplies students need throughout the school year. Discuss how the supplies are used and why they are necessary for students to complete their work.
  2. Have students brainstorm a list of things they wish they had-if only the items existed!
  3. Instruct students to select their MVP "school supply of the future" and imagine what it would look like and how it would work. Give students time to sketch a model of their ideas. Then have students create an advertisement that would encourage other students to buy this new, can't-live-without school supply of the future.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their designs and advertisements with the class. Challenge them to explain why their new item should be at the top of every student's back-to-school list.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
As a class, identify one "school supply of the future" that students need. Brainstorm ideas about what the item would look like and how it would work. Divide the class into small groups. Have each group sketch a design and create a simple advertisement for their new product.
Grades 5-6:
Have students complete the activity in small groups. Challenge each group to envision one school supply of the future. Then have each group member draw what he or she thinks it should look like. Encourage group members to share their ideas, identify the best features in each, and then sketch a new design that incorporates all of those ideas. Have group members work together to create an advertisement for their new product.
Grades 7-8:
Have students complete the activity in pairs. Encourage partners to brainstorm ideas, select a product and make a list of desirable features it should include. Have them work together to sketch a detailed design of their school supply of the future and then create an advertisement for their new product.
Grades 9-10:
Have students complete the activity in pairs. Encourage partners to brainstorm ideas, select a product and make a list of desirable features it should include. Challenge partners to create a patent-worthy diagram of their new product. Then have them write a script and film a 30-second television commercial touting their new product.