Title: Design and Sketching
Unit Length: 5 weeks
Written by: Jim Roland
Subject/Grade: 8th Grade Technology
Standard 5: Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use,
and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.
1: Identify needs and opportunities for technical solutions.
3: Generate several ideas for alternative solutions and choose one optimal solution.
4: Develop plans and construct a model of the solution.
7: Use a variety of hand tools and machines.
11: Access needed information from various Internet sites.
15: Select appropriate technological systems.
20: Understand the contributions of people to technological development.
22: Describe how outputs can be desired, undesired, expected, and unexpected.
Rationale: To promote Technological Literacy, PLTW has justified the importance of Design
and Modeling. Students will learn the content of this curriculum while strengthening skills of
literacy to become better learners. The application of content learned will be the greatest
learning experience for students through several activities.
Launch: Introduction to students of the teacher and course through 20 questions activity.
Introduce course concepts, rules, and procedures through Family Feud activity. Ask students
to list all of the technologies they can and then proceed by organizing them into appropriate
systems and discuss the systems model. Relate technology to Science and other content
familiar to students. To begin sketching portion, launch Pictionary to demonstrate the need for
Essential Question: Why are sketching and technical drawing skills necessary for industry and
Critical Thinking Skill: Error Analysis
Sub Skills: Abstracting, Problem Solving, Systems Analysis
Assessments: Formative: Daily Bell Ringer, Quizzes, Homework, Activity
Participation, Daily Participation
Summative: Unit Quiz
Vocabulary: NYS Test: Elaborate, Best Describes, Associated
Unit Vocab: Energy, system, transportation, communication, manufacturing, biotechnology
construction, production, resources, measurement, design, brainstorm, model, invention,
impact, innovation, conditions, goal, capital, information, machines, visualization, shape,
texture, design brief, isometric, orthographic, perspective, three-dimensional, performance
indicator, objective, technology
Guiding Questions: Compare the differences of Science and Technology. Explain what a
system is. Defend the need for measurement. Identify the unit used to measure in the U.S.
Contrast the differences between open and closed-loop systems. Categorize the systems within
production. Dispute an invention versus an innovation. Interpret what is the scientific method?
Theorize how you solve everyday problems. Predict what paper is used most to communicate
an idea. Distinguish what detail is shown in an orthographic drawing compared to an isometric.
Student Engagement: participation in activities, observation throughout direct instruction,
accountability by asking all students for answers randomly, answer individual questions,
include students throughout instruction as helpers or assisting teachers, group or teamwork
Meaningful Use (real world application): Students will apply measuring skills to relate inch
units to real world objects. Through classroom measurement, students will estimate sizes and
proportions. Students will practice graphic communication to improve their abilities to share
ideas with others. Students will analyze and realize the impacts, of technology, around them
have had on their lives and society.
Materials/Resources: ruler game, handouts, drawing manipulatives, display blocks,
How did it go?: Excellent for measurement. Students understand the English system of
measure far better than last year. Measurement did take more time than expected though.
Basic sketching is good but more advanced pictorial sketching is weak. Lessons were effective
but developmentally, students have difficulty with spatial literacy. Pictionary launch for
sketching and history of measure activity were both great and well received by students.
What changes?: Next year I may start the unit immediately with very little classroom
introduction and expectations. Perhaps I will stretch the measurement portion out across the
entire semester instead of just within a block of a couple weeks. I will plan more time for
sketching, especially pictorial drawing.
Why different?: By starting the year immediately with content, students realized that there
were high expectations and rules only had to be shared in a short discussion. By starting
content immediately, there is more time for teaching, rather than explaining rules, etc.
Discussing measurement throughout the entire year will reinforce learning and promote deeper
understanding. More time for pictorial drawing is needed because students at this age have
difficulty with spatial literacy.