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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.
Medieval Marshmallows
Teach Newton’s laws of motion with this Cooper-Hewitt lesson plan. Students will design and construct a catapult that launches marshmallows. If you wish, challenge students to incorporate a catapult in their mini-golf course designs.
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!
Designing Musical Instruments
This lesson plan from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum shows how musical instruments can be used in a study of sound energy. Students employ observation, logic and reasoning to demonstrate how different pitches are made. They then invent their own instruments to produce various sounds and pitches.