Teacher Sign Up
Sign In
Monday Morning Ready05.04.2018
Jumpstart Your Week!

During mini-golf’s first big boom 85 years ago, there was nothing little about the industry. According to the New York Times, by August 1930 there were over 25,000 mini-golf courses in the country. At the same time, there were only about 6,000 regular golf courses in America.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

Of the six mini-golf courses described in the article, which one would you most like to visit? Why?

Grade 5-6

What criteria would you use to pick the "best" mini-golf course: the course that was the hardest to play or the one with the most creative design? Why?

Grade 7-8

Several of the mini-golf courses featured in the article were developed with the help of local artists. If you were building a mini-golf course, what other types of professionals would you like to have on your team? How could each of these professionals contribute to the project?

Grade 9-10

Mini-golf courses are built for fun. How could they also be used to educate people about math, science or other academic topics?

LESSON PLAN
Design a Mini-Golf Course

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, discuss what it's like to play mini-golf. Encourage students to describe some of the mini-golf courses they've seen.
  2. Invite students to search the Internet to find photos of mini-golf courses. Which courses look like they'd be the most fun? Which look like they'd be the most difficult to play? How is each course designed around a theme? And how could people use new technology to create a "modern" version of a golf course of the past?
  3. Instruct students to select their favorite elements. Challenge them to incorporate those elements into their own designs of a mini-golf course. Give students time to sketch a model of their courses.
  4. Provide a variety of art materials or have students bring items from home. Encourage students to build a model of at least one hole on their mini-golf course.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their drawings and models with the class. Instruct them to identify the overall themes of their mini-golf courses. Then have them explain how the difficulty, creativity or technology they incorporated into their designs will ensure that their mini-golf courses are a success.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
As a class, search online to find photos of mini-golf courses. Be sure to find examples from the past as well as some that exist today. Help students identify elements designed to be difficult or creative as well as those that require technology to work. As a class, select a theme for a mini-golf course. Divide the class into nine groups. Challenge each group to design one hole for a 9-hole mini-golf course. Compare and contrast the results.

Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Have groups search online to find photos of mini-golf courses. Tell them to be sure to find examples from the past as well as some that exist today. Encourage students to identify elements designed to be difficult or creative as well as those that require technology to work. Encourage groups to pick a theme for a mini-golf course. Then give them time to sketch a model of a 9-hole mini-golf course. Provide supplies and challenge them to build a model of one hole in their designs.

Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Give partners time to find and study photos of mini-golf courses from the past as well as some that exist today. Then give pairs time to select a theme and sketch a model of their own 18-hole mini-golf course. Provide supplies and challenge partners to build models of three holes in their designs.

Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Give partners time to find and study photos of mini-golf courses from the past as well as some that exist today. Then give pairs time to select a theme and sketch a model of their own 18-hole mini-golf course. Provide supplies and challenge partners to build models of three holes in their designs. One hole should be built for difficulty, one for creativity and one should require some sort of technology to work.

VISUAL RESOURCES: GOLF: HIGHLIGHTS COLLECTION
SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
The Brief 1930s Craze for “Tom Thumb Golf”
Miniature golf courses had been around before. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn how Garnet Carter gave it a roadside attraction spin.

Let the Games Begin
In this teacher-created lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, elementary students work collaboratively to design a game with clearly written instructions. The game requires players to round three- and four-digit numbers to the nearest ten, hundred and thousand.

A Futuristic Golf Game in the Sky
In the year 2062, you really, really won’t want to hit a ball out of bounds. Read this Smithsonian article to learn why.

How Arnold Palmer and President Eisenhower Made Golf the Post-War Pastime
Read this Smithsonian article to learn how the charismatic, working-class golfer and beloved president made golf the sport of elites and middle-class duffers for a generation.

Designing a Playground!
This unit of teacher-created lessons from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum challenges elementary students to use math, science, language arts and life skills in the process of designing a safe, fun playground.

Friction Restriction: Creating a Design Plan to Redesign the Tread of Tennis Sneakers
With this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students design a slip-proof shoe while the teacher fulfills science standards for force, mass and motion. Encourage students to use lessons learned here as they design their mini-golf courses.

On the Go! Forces and Motion
This unit from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, helps elementary students investigate types of forces, gravity, friction and incline through the design challenge of creating a car that travels fastest and farthest.

How the Soccer Ball Could Save the Golf Course
Mini-golf is just one way the sport of golf has been adapted over time. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn about the sport of footgolf—which is exactly what it sounds like!
ALSO ON TEENTRIBUNE.COM