A Year of Design

Fourth Grade 2012-13

This year we have spent much of our time in the process of design. We have explored architecture and the design elements of different styles, designed wreaths for a fundraiser, created models to test designs, and designed creative miniature golf holes. We have thought creatively and critically to put our designing skills to the test. This is our year in a nutshell.

Wreath pics - Look how we have grown!

architecture field trip

Well, architecture was a big focus for us. Your students worked with scale measuring every part of our classroom and drawing it to scale. Lots of math involved here! At Thanksgiving, we watched a video about the Mayflower and created a life size outline of the Pilgrims' ship. They were given a drawing and had to enlarge it to its actual size. It was not nearly as big as they imagined.


By Christmas, we had the basics of architecture under our tool belts, and explored specific types of architecture. They created architecture books with drawings and definitions of various architectural elements. After studying various styles of architecture, we ventured to downtown Bryan to see the historical architecture in our own backyard.

Models and Designs

Lately, we have been working on models and designs. We started talking about real world black boxes, unknowns that are proven through science and math calculations rather than observation, such as the material at the earth's core, or Copernicus's theory of the planets rotating around the sun. We then proceeded to try to determine the contents of actual black boxes through the use of our sense of hearing and vibrations we felt.

Once we thought we had figured out the contents of our black boxes, we built models of our theories to test them. Tweak and retest, that's science for you!

Testing Our Hypotheses

4th grader in Bugland. No designing here; just really cool bugs.

Miniature Golf Designers

The students had to test their creativity by designing 3 miniature golf holes based on a theme randomly drawn from a bucket of ideas. They chose their favorite and built a miniature version of their miniature golf. Does this make them micro mini golf?

These are the kids I know and love.

a really good group

I have loved having your students this year. They are so creative and eager to learn. It has been a pleasure to teach them this year.