The Voices of Voting: How Do We Judge Design?

By Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, September 21, 2007

Grade Level

  • High School

Category

  • People's Design Award

Subject Area

  • Arts
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Lesson Time

One to two fifty-minute class periods

Introduction

There are a multitude of ways to judge design, from the personal to the global. The People’s Design Award, which is hosted each year by Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and sponsored by Target, gives the general public an opportunity to nominate and vote for their favorite designs. In this lesson students will investigate the diverse parameters of the voting process, and critically examine how design is judged. http://www.cooperhewitt.org/national-design-awards/

National Standards

Reading
Standard 7. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts
Level III. 1. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand 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of informational texts (e.g., electronic texts; textbooks; biographical sketches; directions; essays; primary source historical documents, including letters and diaries; print media, including editorials, news stories, periodicals, and magazines; consumer, workplace, and public documents,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)
Writing
Standard 1. Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing processLevel III. 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)
Arts and Communication
Standard 3. Uses critical and creative thinking in various arts and communication settings
Working With Others
Standard 1. Contributes to the overall effort of a group
History
Standard 2. Understands the historical perspective

Common Core Standards

Anchors for Reading:

Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Anchor standards for Speaking and Listening:

Comprehension and Collaboration:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Anchor standards for Language:

Conventions of Standard English:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

 

Objectives

Students will:
  • conduct research on varied systems of voting
  • create a graphic organizer
  • participate in small-group and large-group discussion
  • analyze, summarize, critique and evaluate information from varied sources
  • write a comparison paragraph
  • create a presentation

Resources

  • “Get out the Vote for Design” handout
  • Internet websites

Materials

  • Computer with Internet access

Procedures

Building Background

Diverse Votes The purpose of this activity is to encourage students to think about how different elements in popular culture are judged. 1. As a class, visit the Web site of the popular television show American Idol, which invites viewers to cast votes for their favorite performers during the course of the program’s five-month season: http://www.americanidol.com/. Ask your students if they are familiar with, or have participated in, the voting process for American Idol. On this program, contestants pass through an audition process, and then, when they are on the actual program, their singing performances are critiqued by a panel of three judges. The viewing public votes each week, and the performer with the lowest number of votes leaves the competition. 2. Ask the students to compare how the performers are judged at the auditions and how the performers are judged during the program television season. 3. Invite students to share their thoughts and opinions on whether or not the voting process on American Idol is an effective way to judge singing.

Steps for Learning

Compare & Contrast The purpose of this activity is for students to analyze a variety of judging systems. 1. Divide the class into small groups. Give each group a copy of the “Get Out the Vote for Design” handout (attached). One component of the handout is the creation of a graphic organizer. A graphic organizer is a visuo-spatial representation of information. If your students are not familiar with graphic organizers, you can visit the Read.Write.Think Web site at: http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/readwritethink-webbing-tool-30038.html This Web site contains an interactive tool to create graphic organizers. 2. Allow time for each group to work on the handout and prepare their presentation.
3. Provide time for each group to share its presentation. Lead a class discussion based on students’ reactions to the presentations.

Assessment

You may assess the students’ work according to the following categories using a scale of 1-5.
  • Research
  • Graphic Organizer
  • Paragraph
  • Understanding of Varied Voting Systems
  • Collaborative Skills
  • Presentation
A score of 1=Needs Improvement A score of 2=Adequate A score of 3=Good A score of 4=Excellent A score of 5=Outstanding

Enrichment Extension Activities

Design Research
Have students conduct further research on how different design disciplines such as architecture, interior design, lighting design, fashion design, and landscape design are judged. Ask the students to share what they learn with their classmates.

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