Function Teacher Resources
Find Function educational ideas and activities
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Evaluating the Accessibility of Polling Places
Students design ways to accommodated voters with disabilities. In this creative problem solving lesson, students use the ADA checklist for polling places and universal design principles to evaluate a polling place. They draw plans showing their improvements.
Design Your Own Building
Students explore the use of design principles in the real world. They evaluate how problems can be solved using design principles. In groups, students design the floor plan for a building of their choice.
Design a Reef!
Students design a functional model of a coral reef ecosystem. In this coral reef lesson plan, students identify the energy sources and material cycles of a coral reef. They write an essay about their niche in their own ecosystem.
Students create a marketing design, print communication design and a package design for a suite of products for an imaginary company. They identify the qualities of successful logos and incorporate those qualities into their own designs.
Work Hard and Work Smart: Designing for Athletes
Students design new insights into work tied into athletes. Students design a sports bag for athletes. Students investigate varied sports. They interview people involved in varied sports. Students engage in active problem solving as they create a new design.
Evaluating the Accessibility of Polling Places
Eighth graders apply the six steps in technology problem solving as they use the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Checklist for Polling Places and the seven Universal Design Principles to evaluate and make recommendations for changes in a polling place to accommodate voters with disabilities.
Biomimicry, Nature: Architecture of the Future
Students explore the relationship between nature and architecture. In this cross curriculum history, culture, and architecture instructional activity, students observe and discuss structures visible in nature. Students view websites in which Native American and other homes of the past are illustrated, and make connections between the climate, geographical features, materials and design of the homes. Students work with a group to design and build a biomimicry-inspired 3D structure.
New! Robe Design
You can learn a lot from a robe, especially if that robe is from the Qing Dynasty. Examine the beauty and symbolism that covers a functional and piece of clothing entitled Winter Dragon Robe. The class will consider and analyze all of the images on the piece to hone their critical thinking and observation skills. They will then use the elements of design found in the robe to draw their own symbolic and ornate robes.
Line and Pattern Design Paper Sculpture
The students create patterns and repeat colors for unity. They explore organic shapes and demonstrate awareness of design principles and art elements. They then create 3-D paper relief from a 2-D surface and demonstrate the difference between 2-D and 3-D art.
New! Adaptive Device Design
After reading about how engineering has made adaptive devices possible for people with disabilities, pupils work in groups to discuss different devices to determine whether or not they are adaptive. They also disassemble a pair of eyeglasses in order to analyze the materials and design. This is a hands-on critical-thinking activity that you can use in a STEM or engineering unit.
4-H Line and Design Advanced Leader's Page
Incorporate 21st century graphic design skills into an advanced line and design activity worksheet. 4-H'ers will have a blast using a computer graphics program to re-create an image, unscrambling design terms and matching them with definitions, and making over a bedroom by rearranging furniture and choosing color/fabric samples. This extensive set of design activities also includes service ideas, online resources, and leadership ideas for passing along acquired skills.
Line and Design (Advanced)
As part of an exploration of line and design, students complete a variety of activities which include discussing a list of vocabulary terms, and learning about principles of design.
Design a Reef!
Students explore coral reef ecosystems. In this ecosystems science instructional activity, students research coral reef ecosystems to determine the major functions the participating organisms must perform. Students construct a miniature coral reef ecosystem incorporating materials necessary for survival based on their research. Extensive background information is provided.
Design a Green Rooftop Garden
Design and construct buildings with rooftop gardens. Junior engineers work in groups to build two buildings and then perform experiments to determine whether or not a garden affects the building temperatures. They graph and interpret their results. This comprehensive project even incorporates a budgeting worksheet! If you have the time and the space, this well-written, memorable, and educational lesson could be the focal point of an interdisciplinary unit.
This is comprehensive lesson that considers many aspects of quadratic functions. It includes using factoring, completing the square and the use of the quadratic formula for finding the zeros of the function (including imaginary roots). It also reverses the whole process by looking at either different graphs of quadratic functions or zeros that are given and challenges the learner to derive the function. This lesson provides an excellent review for the second year algebra student or a multi-lesson unit for the more novice student.
New! Water Fountain
Thorough instructions are given to guide you through making a demonstration hydraulic pump from two plastic soda bottles. After using the resource to teach your class about Pascal's and Bernoulli's principles, turn them loose in groups to design their own working water fountains. An accompanying handout has them imagine that they are designing for a local park. This lesson is ideal for addressing Next Generation Science Standards for engineering.
New! Build a Big Wheel
What does it take to prepare for a construction project? In an engineering lesson, youngsters examine how a Ferris wheel can turn and carry a load without falling apart. After reading up on big wheel designs, they create a model using pasta noodles, teabags, and other simple materials. Try finding a video on the Internet about the amazing Singapore Flyer and showing it to your class as an anticipatory set.
Design Explorations: Frieze Patterns
Students will explore frieze patterns. A frieze pattern is a mathematical concept to classify designs on two-dimensional surfaces, which are repetitive in one direction, based on the symmetries in the pattern. They will explore examples of frieze patterns in architecture and art, and create an original design using a frieze pattern.
Stop Signs, Musical Notes, Letters & Logos: Designing Symbols
Students develop an awareness of environmental print, such as signs, logos, brand names, and other print and non-print items that the children see and read in their neighborhood each day. They then engage in active problem solving as they create a design for a symbol that tells something about their identity.
Eighth graders are introduced to the concept of design. It is intended to help students recognize that design is purposeful, based on requirements, systematic, iterative, creative and provides solution alternatives.