Lesson 4

A Work In Process: Improving Play a Dough Process

Improving a Play Dough Process / Grade 5 / Chicopee, MA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - A Work in Process: Improving a Play Dough Process, L4

Students apply their knowledge of solids, liquids, mixtures, and chemical engineering as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve a play dough making process. 

Reflection Questions

In what ways and in what parts of the lesson does Grace reinforce the steps of the Engineering Design Process (EDP)?

Grace refers to the EDP throughout the lesson and reminds students that it is a process that can be used to solve a variety of problems.

  • Grace starts by reminding students that they have used steps of the Engineering Design Process before, and now they will use all of the steps. (0:32)
  • After the Imagine step, Grace points to the EDP poster and reviews where they are in the process. (4:03)
  • When one boy mentions that he made changes to his original recipe, Grace teases him about how he “improved the improvement” and mentions that engineering is a process that never ends. (7:30)
  • Grace wraps up the lesson by reminding students that they can use the Engineering Design Process to solve other problems. (11:00)

What evidence do you see that Grace spent time preparing for this lesson before the class started?

Grace has cut out and mounted the play dough process steps, photocopied handout packets, and organized materials for distribution.

  • Grace has prepared a laminated set of play dough making process steps than she can post in order in front of the class. (2:04)
  • Grace created an EDP packet of handouts for each student so that they could record their ideas for each step of the Engineering Design Process. (4:07)
  • Grace has prepared a basin filled with materials for each group. She measured out portions of flour, salt, and water, and provided mixing bowls and measuring spoons. (5:31)