When Getting There Is More Than Half the Battle

By Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, December 5, 2007

Grade Level

  • High School

Category

  • Design for the Other 90%

Subject Area

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Lesson Time

Two to three fifty-minute class periods

Introduction

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s Design for the Other 90% exhibition demonstrates how design can be a dynamic force in saving and transforming lives, at home and around the world. Of the world’s total population of 6.5 billion, 5.8 billion people, or 90%, have little or no access to most of the products and services many of us take for granted. In fact, nearly half do not have regular access to food, clean water, or shelter. Design for the Other 90% explores a growing movement among designers to design low-cost solutions for this “other 90%.” In this lesson, students will explore the wide-ranging impact of transportation problems and design solutions around the globe.

National Standards

Common Core English Language Arts
College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards
Strand Reading
 
Language Arts - Reading
Language Arts - Writing
Geography
Historical Understanding
Language Arts Reading
Writing
Economics

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.

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.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

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.

Anchor Standards for Writing:

Text Types and Purposes:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences

Production and Distribution of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

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.

Range of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

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:
• investigate the Design for the Other 90% exhibition • conduct surveys • explore transportation of products • conduct internet research • create a class presentation • work collaboratively in small groups

Resources

Materials

Computer with internet access

Procedures

Building Background Activity One: Transportation
The purpose of this activity is to provide students with an opportunity to brainstorm ideas about the vast impact of transportation on human activities.
  1. Tell the students to write the definition of the word “transportation” on a piece of paper. Divide the class into pairs and ask the students to share their definitions. Compile a class definition of the word.
  2. Provide each pair of students with a copy of the “Transportation Survey” handout. Tell the students to give the survey to at least five people of varied ages. Have the students conduct the survey as a homework assignment. After the surveys are complete, invite students to share and discuss the results with their classmates. After the discussion, ask the students if they would like to make any changes or additions to the class definition of transportation.
Activity Two: Food Journeys
The purpose of this activity is to give students an understanding of how goods are transported from origin to destination.
  1. Divide the class into small groups. Ask each group to select one item from the supermarket shelves and research its origin and how it arrived at its destination.
  2. Have each group share what it learns with the entire class.
  3. Create a list of ways that the items were transported and the reasons why different kinds of transportation were used. Post the list to use as a shared reference throughout the remainder of the lesson activities.
  4. Ask the students to brainstorm answers to the following question:
  • What would happen if people only bought food that was grown and transported locally?
Activity Three: Collaborative Investigations
The purpose of this activity is to provide students with an opportunity to investigate varied means of transporting goods, people, water, and food.
  1. Divide the class into small groups. Have each group investigate varied dimensions of transportation. Tell the students that after they conduct research, they are going to create a brief paragraph summarizing what they have learned, and share this information with their classmates. The paragraph should include information about the Design for the Other 90% design innovation listed below each group’s name, and how it impacts the way goods, people, water, or food are transported.
Group One: Goods
Conduct research on how goods are transported both locally and globally. Be sure to include motorized and non-motorized forms of transportation in your research. Investigate the following design innovation:
Group Two: People
Conduct research on how people are transported both locally and globally. Be sure to include motorized and non-motorized forms of transportation. Investigate the following design innovation:
  • World Bike Prototype
http://www.designother90.org/solution/worldbike-prototype/
Group Three: Water
Conduct research on how water is transported both locally and globally. Be sure to include motorized and non-motorized forms of transportation. Investigate the following design innovation:
  • Q-Drum
http://www.designother90.org/solution/q-drum/
Group Four: Food
Conduct research on how food is transported both locally and globally. Be sure to include motorized and non-motorized forms of transportation. Investigate the following design innovation:
  • Pot-in Pot Cooler
http://www.designother90.org/solution/potinpot-cooler/ 2. When the presentations are complete, lead a class discussion based on the following questions:
  • How do you think transportation is related to politics?
  • How do you think transportation is related to culture?
  • How do you think transportation is related to economics?
  • What role does transportation play in designing for the “other 90%"?
Steps for Learning Activity One: Moving Parts
The purpose of this activity is to give students an opportunity to use design to convey a message.
  1. Divide the class into small groups. Give each group a copy of the “Moving On” handout. Tell the students that they are going to create an original design based on what they learned about transportation.
  2. After each group has presented its work, lead a class discussion based on the following questions:
 
  • What did you learn from your classmates’ presentations?
  • What was the best part of each presentation?

Assessment

Create a class rubric with your students that will help them understand the effectiveness of their work. Use the following guidelines to help create the rubric.
  • Rate the effectiveness of your research on transportation issues.
  • Rate the quality of your summary.
  • Rate how well you used movement to convey a message about transportation issues.
  • Rate the creativity of your presentation.
  • Rate how well your group was able to collaborate.

Enrichment Extension Activities

Activity One: Household Investigations
Ask your students to conduct an investigation of the origin of foods and objects in their homes. Have them use the following questions as guidelines:
  • How many foods in your house come from another country?
  • How many objects in your house come from another country?
  • How do food items come into the United States?
Host a class discussion based on the results of students’ investigations.
Activity Two: Local Farmers’ Markets
Have your class investigate farmers’ markets and what role transportation plays in getting foods to market. Invite students to share what they learned with their classmates.

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