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Design a Translation Device

Students will conduct research to learn about language translation devices currently on the market. They will brainstorm ideas to make the devices even better. Then they will create a detailed sketch of their new product design and explain who it will help and how it will work.

PROCESS:

  1. Instruct students to conduct research to learn about language translation devices used today. What do they look like? How do they work? How accurate and effective are they?
  2. Then have students compose a list of additional features that they think would be make language translation devices even better. Encourage them to include features that would help both the listener and speaker in a conversation.
  3. Have students brainstorm ideas about how these features could be combined to create a simple, easy-to-use translation device. Encourage them to create a detailed diagram of their device. Challenge them to explain who it will help most and how it will work.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their designs with the class. Encourage classmates to discuss the merits of each design. Challenge them to identify the best features of each idea.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
As a class, investigate existing language translation devices. Invite students to share what they learned. Then have students brainstorm ideas for more features that would make these devices even better. Have each student pick a feature that most helps the listener and the speaker. Give them time to create a diagram of their ideas.
Grades 5-6:
Have students complete the project in small groups. Instruct groups to select the language they want to translate. Then challenge group members to pick at least two new features that will make a language translation device more effective for both the listener and speaker. Give groups time to create a detailed sketch showing how their device works.
Grades 7-8:
Have students complete the project in pairs. Instruct partners to create a diagram for a language translation device that incorporates several new features that aid both the listener and speaker in a conversation. Challenge them to create a device that can translate both in person and online.
Grades 9-10:
Have students complete the project in pairs. Instruct partners to create a diagram for a language translation device that incorporates several new features that aid both the listener and speaker in a conversation. Challenge them to create a device that can translate both in person and online in multiple languages.