Problem Solving Lesson Plan
Cale Hoppe, ED381
Solving/ Holistic Lesson Plan: Paper Structure
Aim: Students will discover the importance and
applicability of geometry in their surroundings.
Level Goals: Students will recognize geometric relationships in
buildings and structures around them. Students will be able to reason why
structures around them are made the way they are, and will be able to apply
Level: High School or Middle School
Cognitive: Students will evaluate the created shelters by comparing
and contrasting them. They will be able to note observations and relate the
experience to real-life scenarios.
Affective: Students will be able to use their creativity to create
the shelter. They will be in control of its appearance, minus the restrictions
given in the instructions, and use their imaginations to create viable designs. They will
be asked to justify their decisions in constructing the shelter
the way they did. And, students will use teamwork to complete the project.
Physical: Students will increase their interest in geometry as well
as a greater geometric understanding in this “hands on” activity. They will
be a part of the project due to the stipulation that they must fit inside the
finished product. Students will need to use gestures to communicate.
Students will construct a shelter based on their present
The shelter must be free standing.
shelter can have only one entrance with no other openings.
Students will work in a group of four to six people.
The only tools that can be used are newspapers and masking tape
Group members must be able to fit completely inside of their shelter.
Students will have an (X)ft by (Y)ft area to work in.
Students will have thirty minutes to complete this task.
No one can talk during the thirty minutes.
Groups will have five minutes to talk and brainstorm before beginning.
Skills: Students will develop the ability to:
work together in small groups using
construct a shelter with minimal tools
follow a set of conditions and
discover which shapes are more easily
adapted to free-standing structures and hold shapes lend themselves to holding
recognize challenges the activity
presented and what they did to combat them.
formulate generalities based on
observing others' shelters.
apply the knowledge they learned to
investigating real life scenarios.
recognize the usefulness of geometry in the world around
Statement: By creating a model shelter, students will
discover the relationships and importance of geometry in everyday examples and
scenarios. Students will increase their knowledge and awareness of geometry.
Materials: Newspapers, cardboard, and duct and masking tape.
Responsibilities: The teacher is to remind students of the time remaining
and should make sure conditions and parameters are being met.
Responsibilities: Students will be responsible for their participation, a
group written evaluation, and a personal evaluation of the activity.
Support: Newspaper donations will be taken prior to the
project day. One or two other empty classrooms will be needed for project space
if it is not nice enough outside.
Procedures: Prior to the project, information and activities will be
presented to enhance the project and segue into it. The grading rubric will be
handed out. The teacher will present the project to the class. One session will
be used for planning and brainstorming, another will be used for actual
construction, and a third for evaluation and debriefing. Students will evaluate their
own and classmates work. A discussion
will wrap-up the lesson and skills learned in completing this project.
Challenges and discoveries should be noted, as well as geometric applicability.
The teacher will then segue into further explorations, including another
connected lesson plan.
Evaluation: Students will be graded on participation, group work, their
abilities to follow the conditions and parameters of the problem, and a
collective group written evaluation. There will be a grading rubric outlining these
Lessons/ Follow-up Activities:
An engineer will come in one
period as a guest speaker to address the project and how he uses geometry at
A Tech Ed teacher will be brought in for a cooperative
lesson to demonstrate which structures can support the most weight/gravity via
an air press.
Students will explore the volumes of common geometric
figures and make connections with the paper shelter project.
Students will do a one page research paper on a
historic structure of their choice and make connections between it and what the
student has learned about geometry thus far.
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