Tell Me about it: What is Design? Creating a Design Workshop (Part 2)
By Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, September 20, 2007
- Middle School
- Language Arts
Two fifty-minute class periods
What role does design play in everyday life? In the second part of this two-part lesson, students will apply what they have learned about the design process by creating a design workshop for elementary school students.
Common Core Literacy for Other Subjects
Strand Reading for History/Social Studies Grades 6-8
RH.6-8.7. Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Strand Writing for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects Grades 6-8
WHST.6-8.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Common Core English Language Arts
Strand Speaking and Listening Grades 6-8 SL.6-8.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. SL.6-8.2. Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
Language Arts - Reading
Standard 7. Uses skills and strategies to read a variety of informational texts Level III. Benchmark 1. Reads a variety of informational texts (e.g., electronic texts; textbooks; biographical sketches; directions; essays; primary source historical documents, including letters and diaries; print media, including editorials, news stories, periodicals, and magazines; consumer, workplace, and public documents, including catalogs,technical directions, procedures, and bus routes)
Language Arts - Writing
Standard 1. Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process Level III. Benchmark 5. Uses content, style, and structure (e.g., formal or informal language, genre, organization) appropriate for specific audiences (e.g., public, private) and purposes (e.g., to entertain, to influence, to inform
Working With Others
Standard 1. Contributes to the overall effort of a group
- analyze the components of the design process
- view and analyze design videos
- respond to journal prompts
- participate in small-group and large-group discussion
- work collaboratively in small groups
- create a design workshop
- “Design Workshop” handout (attached)
- “Shortened IDEO Shopping Cart Video” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhOg95BsyG8
- TED video “Emily Pilloton: Teaching Design for Change” https://www.ted.com/talks/emily_pilloton_teaching_design_for_change.html
- Computer with internet access
Activity One: Introducing Design Concepts The purpose of this activity is to provide students with an understanding of basic design concepts by viewing two videos.1. Review the following steps of the design process with your class:
- STEP ONE: Identify the problem. Brainstorm ideas.
- STEP TWO: Analyze the elements you will need to solve the problem.
- STEP THREE: Create your design plan and presentation.
- STEP FOUR: Evaluate your design. Share your design and ask for feedback. Discuss how you might make changes and improvements to your design.
- STEP FIVE: Communicate. Share your design plan.
- “Design is both a verb and a noun.”
- “Design allows us both to respond and invent.”
- “The act of designing is carried out in many different ways, from the personal choices we make when we set the table or plant a garden, to the collective decisions made in the marketplace or at city hall.”
- Design education encourages your students to see themselves as designers in their own right as they engage in the design process through active observation, critical discussion, hands-on activities, visual communication and presentation, and critique.
2. Invite students to share their responses to each of the quotations. Compare, analyze, and discuss students’ thoughts.
Steps for Learning
Creating a Design Workshop The purpose of this activity is to give students an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned about design.
1. Divide the class into small groups and give each group a copy of the “Design Workshop” handout (attached). Tell the students that they are going to create a workshop for elementary school students to help them learn about design. Remind the students to use the background information on design that they learned in the first part of this two-part lesson. 2. Have students share their design plan with the class.
Create a class rubric to evaluate the students’ workshop design. Use the following guidelines to help create the rubric.
- Rate the effectiveness of your workshop in conveying information about design concepts.
- Rate the effectiveness of your overviews of five fields of design.
- Rate how effectively your workshop incorporates the People’s Design Award website as a tool for learning about design.
- Rate the effectiveness of your hands-on design activity.
- Rate the effectiveness of your group’s brainstorming in generating ideas.
- Rate how effectively you analyze the information you used to identify your problem.
- Rate the effectiveness of your solution.
- Rate how clearly you communicate your solution.
- Rate your creativity.
- Rate how well your group is able to collaborate.
Enrichment Extension Activities
Differentiation for Elementary School:
Have students participate in a Ready, Set, Design workshop: https://www.cooperhewitt.org/videos/ready-set-design. Invite another elementary school class to participate in a Ready, Set, Design workshop to be led by your students. Your students can design new challenge cards and gather materials for their peers' workshop.
Differentiation for High School:
Ask your students to investigate the design process further by learning about Cooper-Hewitt's City of Neighborhoods project. Use the websites below as resources: