Animal and Plant Parts Inspire Inventions
Teach students how to design inventions which mimic nature. That sounds like a tough challenge when you teach a 1st grade class. Firstly, just the word “biomimicry” may get your students tongue tied. But follow the steps below and your students will be ready to tackle designing a nature inspired solution to human problems.
STEP #1: Start with a Video
Before you even begin, consider that your students may not have the background knowledge or vocabulary to understand the concept you plan to talk about. For this reason, showing a video or even pictures are wonderful ways to introduce the topic. A video will show real inventions and get your students ready to learn how to design inventions which mimic nature. While it may be true that a picture is worth a thousand words, a video makes it relatable and real.
STEP #2: Read All About It
One of my favorite t-shirts that I wear to work at school declares, “Read More Books”. Whether the books are from your own collection, the building library, the local library, or an online source, gather as many books as you can to support the concept. Grab them off the shelf for read alouds. Let students select them when they read to a friend. Basically, read!
“The things I want to know are in books.” — Abraham Lincoln
Specifically, having books which are printable is the best option. Each student gets their own copy to keep which they can read again and again. (Of course, there is the chance that they might want to and get to color them too.)
STEP #3: Hands on Engagement Activities
At this point in your lesson to teach how to design inventions, what have your students learned so far? Their task is to recall the information learned. So provide them with interactive activities in which they reflect on their new knowledge.
STEP #4: Respond to the Text
Writing and putting concepts into their own words makes new knowledge more permanent in the brain. For this reason, don’t forget this important step. Let your students write about the information they just learned. There are so many options. For example: write about a picture, complete a writing prompt, finish the sentences, fill out an exit ticket, etc.
Basically, Mother Nature has been solving problems for hundreds and thousands of years. Scientists have studied the parts and traits which help plants and animals survive. As a result, these features are now being used to solve human problems as well. Teach your students to be like scientists.
Don’t procrastinate on those lesson plans any longer. You have the step by step process needed to teach students how to design inventions which mimic nature. So go get those lesson plans done.
You will find my Invention Lessons here.
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