# Picturestem: Designing Toy Boxes

PictureSTEM: Designing Toy Boxes

Lesson #1 STEM:We’re Going on a Treasure Hunt

Lesson Summary:

This activity will continue the concept of standard and nonstandard units that was introduced in Activity #1. As studentsare learning that without a consistent (or common) unit for measurement, the same object when measured using different units will produce different results. They will explore this idea through a modeling activity in which the students need to help solve the problems of how to develop a treasure map that anyone can follow regardless of their height and stride. The activity begins with acting out the problem of Susie and her treasure map to help set the context and introduce students to the problem of where to bury her treasure and how to tell her friends to find the treasure. After acting out the problem, students work in pairs to come up with a solution that will help Susie to create a treasure map for her upcoming birthday party.

Lesson Objectives:

Time Required:30 minutes

National / Minnesota

## Next Generation Science Standards:

Common Core Mathematics: /

## Mathematics Standards:

2.3.2.1: Understand the relationship between the size of the unit of measurement and the number of units needed to measure the length of an object.

Vocabulary:

Word / Definition

Background:

Before the activity:

• Make sure that you have read How Big is a Foot? By Rolf Myller to help set context and introduce students to the ideas about standard units of measurement
• Prepare character cards for Susie, brother and father
• Make copies of the student sheets

Introduction:
1. Remind students of the final engineering design challenge before starting the lesson to help set their learning in the correct context.
“Who can remember the engineering challenge that was presented before we read our story about the king? (Trying to make a better toy box that will help keep the toys organized and easy to grab)
Design challenge: Parents have been complaining about kids’ messy toys and how hard it is to bring toys with them because to get the toys out, they have to dump out the entire box. So a toy company wants to build a new and improved toy box. But they need your help – what could they do to help keep the toys organized when they are in the box?
1. “Yes, so before we can help them create a better toy box, we need to learn about a few things so we can make the best choices for our toy box designs. And in order to do that, we need to learn a little bit about measurement because we needto be able to tell the toy company how to build our toy boxes and how much materials they need to build them.
1. The story, How Big is a Foot? By Rolf Myller that was read during the literacy lesson helps to set the context and presents ideas that students can use to help them solve the treasure hunt problem from this STEM lesson.
1. Readiness Questions. Ask the class the following reading comprehension questions to make sure they are ready for the treasure hunt MEA and understand the idea of standard units of measure.
2. What were they measuring and making in this story? ( A bed for the Queen)
3. Do you remember how big the bed needed to be? (3 feet wide by 6 feet tall)
4. What happened with the Queen’s bed? (It was way too small)
5. Why? (The king’s feet were bigger than the apprentice’s feet)
6. How did they solve that problem? (The king made a mold of his foot so that the apprentice could use that to build the bed).
To help students to see the connection between the lessons about measurement and the final engineering design challenge, it is important to remind students of the final challenge and then make explicit connections to the measurement lessons.
These questions come from the readiness questions from the Treasure Hunt MEA - Directions
Activity:We’re Going on a Treasure Hunt
1. “Now that we have reviewed our story about the king, I think that we are ready to try and help Susie solve her treasure hunt problem.”
1. Take 3 volunteers from the class to help with the next part. You will assign each of them a role, Susie, Brother, Father. The directions for each student are listed on the back of each of the nametags that they will put over their heads, but you will need three students and want to tell them ahead of time – to take normal (Suzie), little (brother) and big (Dad) sized steps.
1. Treasure Hunt Problem. Introduce students to the treasure hunt problem by having three students role play the problem scenario on Page 1 of the Treasure Hunt MEA dierctions about Susie and her birthday treasure hunt.
After acting out the problem scenario, ask students, “What is Susie’s problem? (She wants her friends to go on a treasure hunt, but doesn’t know where to bury the treasure and what directions to give).
1. Working on the Problem. Put students into pairs and have them work together to solve the problem and figure out a way to help Susie. (Now is a good time to tell students that there are many different possible answers to this problem). After giving students a few minutes to talk together have students share out different ideas for how to help Susie.
This part comes from the “problem” section of the Treasure Hunt MEA directions
If you want, there are pictures of the maps from Susie, her little brother and her dad.
There are different versions with the grid or no grid – depending on the age of your students.
If you have them use the maps, remember that they an overhead picture of their paths, and so you will want to make sure to help students with the connection that these maps are pictures of the paths that the students just took/acted out
Closure:
1. Sharing Solutions. It is important to allow students present and share their answers with the class to get at the idea that there can be many different ways to solve these problems and that there is no one correct/best answer.
1. If students didn’t make the connection on their own, ask them about how this problem was similar to the problem that the king in the story How Big is a Foot? By Rolf Myller.
1. To make the connection back to the design challenge, ask students “Why do you think that it is important that we use the same measurements for our toy boxes?

Assessment:

Pre-Activity Assessment

Activity Embedded Assessment

Post-Activity Assessment

PictureSTEM© 2013University of Minnesota-STEM Education Center

PictureSTEM: Designing Toy Boxes

Treasure Hunt MEA – Directions

1. Pre-reading – Read aloud. How Big is a Foot? By Rolf Myller to help spark interest and introduce the idea of the need for standard units of measurement.
1. Readiness Questions. Ask the class the following reading comprehension questions to make sure they are ready for the MEA and understand the idea of standard units of measure.
2. What were they measuring and making in this story? ( A bed for the Queen)
3. Do you remember how big the bed needed to be? (3 feet wide by 6 feet tall)
4. What happened with the Queen’s bed? (It was way too small)
5. Why? (The king’s feet were bigger than the apprentice’s feet)
6. How did they solve that problem? (The king made a mold of his foot so that the apprentice could use that to build the bed).
7. Challenge/Higher Level Question: They call that a “standard” unit – why is it important to have a “standard” unit?
8. Problem. Introduce students to the problem by having three students role play the problem statement/scenario on Page 2 about Susie and her treasure hunt. (You will need three students and want to tell them ahead of time – to take normal, little and big sized steps). After acting out the problem scenario, then you will want to review the problem and show them the picture of the maps from Susie, her little brother and her dad (you can find them in the attached treasure hunt maps file). The maps are an overhead picture of their paths, and so you will want to make sure to help students with the connection that these maps are pictures of the paths that the students just took/acted out.
1. Working on the Problem. Put students into pairs and have them work together to solve the problem. When they have come up with a solution, then have them complete the student sheet where they can explain their answer to help Susie with her treasure hunt. Depending on their writing skills – it might also be a good idea to have students record their answers verbally with a video camera.
1. Sharing Solutions. It is important to allow students present and share their answers with the class to get at the idea that there can be many different ways to solve these problems and that there is no one correct/best answer.

Problem Statement

Susie wants to make a treasure hunt for her upcoming birthday party. However, she ran into a problem when planning where to bury her treasure. She decided that her trail would be to take 2 steps to the garage(S), 4 steps to the big tree(E), 6 steps to the swingset (S), and 4 steps to the sidewalk (W).

Here is a map of her trail.

When she finished walking those directions, she placed her treasure box on the location where she was going to bury it and went to get her younger brother to have him try to follow her map. But when her younger brother started in the same place and followed the same directions, he ended up in a different place!

His path is in this map.

Now, Susie isn’t sure where to bury her treasure and so she asked her dad to help. He started at the same place and ended up in a place different from Susie and her brother!

His path is in the map below.

All three of their paths are shown in the map below.

Student Page

Now Susie is really confused! She really wants to have her friends go on a treasure hunt for her party, but she isn’t sure what to do and where to bury the treasure. Can you help her? Write an explanation or draw a picture for what you would tell Susie to do.

Data for Treasure Hunt Maps

2 steps to garage(S), 4 steps to big tree(E), 6 steps to swingset (S), 4 to sidewalk (W)

Avg. Step Length
BOY (Age 5) – 32.83 cm = 12.93 in (12)
GIRL (age 10-14) – 46.6 cm = 18.35 in (18)
DAD (age 40- 49)– 56.2 cm = 22.13 in (24) / Treasure Hunt Distances
If 1 box = 12 in
BOY – 2(S), 4(E), 6(S), 4(W)
GIRL – 3(S), 6(W), 9(S), 6(E)
DAD – 4(S), 8(W), 12(S), 8(E)

S = Susie

B = Brother

S / / B / / D
D

Note the first version of the Treasure Hunt maps do not have the grid on them and are therefore more suitable for younger students. The second version has the grid in the background and could be used with older students – however it might be confusing with younger students because of the different in the squares in addition to the different foot size

START

SIDEWALK
SIDEWALK /
/ / Big
Tree
Swingset
Garage

START

SIDEWALK
SIDEWALK /
Big
Tree
Swing-
Set
Garage

START

SIDEWALK
SIDEWALK / / /
Big
Tree
Swingset
Garage

START

SIDEWALK
SIDEWALK
Big
Tree
Swingset
Garage

START

SIDEWALK
SIDEWALK
Big
Tree
Swingset
Garage

START

SIDEWALK
SIDEWALK /
/ / Big
Tree
Swingset
Garage

START

SIDEWALK
SIDEWALK /
Big
Tree
Swing-
Set
Garage

START

SIDEWALK
SIDEWALK / / /
Big
Tree
Swingset
Garage
SIDEWALK
SIDEWALK
Big
Tree
Swingset
Garage
SIDEWALK
SIDEWALK
Big
Tree
Swingset
Garage

PictureSTEM© 2013University of Minnesota-STEM Education Center