Monday, September 26, 2011

Write It, Do It

Write It, Do It is a Science Olympiad event, but it can easily be adapted for use in your classroom. 

The idea is to get kids to practice writing clear technical directions. 

As a competition event, students work as a team - one member is the writer and the other is the do-er. 

The writer is given an object made of Legos, K'nex, Tinker Toys, craft supplies, etc.  The writer then has to write a set of instructions explaining how to build that object. 

The do-er is then given those instructions, along with a set of the materials needed to construct the object. 

The goal is to have a finished object that most closely resembles the original object. 

Science Olympiad has a thorough list of rules that govern the event - no drawings, all abbreviations must be defined, etc.  But, in your classroom, you can set your own rules.  For me, the goal is to get the kids to write accurately and provide clear directions. 

Start simple and work up to more complex objects throughout the year, as your students technical writing skills improve. 

If you plan to do this activity throughout the year, seek out a variety of different materials with which to build - it will make things more interesting and challenging if it isn't always the same.  Yard sales and thrift stores are great places to pick up building toys on the cheap - and you can sometimes find some older toys that your students don't know, adding to the challenge!  Just make sure you have at least 2 of each part - one for the object, one for the building materials. 

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