Backpack Tags

BACKPACK TAG DESIGN CHALLENGE: A GRADE 3 RIFF OFF THE d.school's "WALLET CHALLENGE"

WHAT IT IS?  WHY DID WE DO IT?

WHAT is it? WHY did we do it?

Most third grade students don’t have a wallet so we shifted the focus of this activity, (a Stanford d.school classic intro design project), onto something that all third grade students do have: a backpack! We were interested in starting the year with a quick design project that would teach the steps involved in design thinking and ratchet up fun and engagement for our students. We also are quite aware that grade three is a time of developmental transition from a family/self-defined to a peer/socially- defined landscape. We wanted to insert an empathy chip into our lead off activity by having the students design for each other.

We built off some fundamental design thinking structures learned at the Nueva School's Design Thinking Workshop.

Our Needs statement was:

Grade 3 students NEED a backpack ID tag so if they lose their backpacks, they can find them again.

How did we do it? These were the basic steps we took:

·      Interview partner

Students interviewed each other trying to dig for stories that could inspire tag designs.

Students interviewed each other trying to dig for stories that could inspire tag designs.

Students record interview information to use while planning and designing

·      Sketch possible ideas based on partner interview

Students were encouraged to do multiple quick sketches in order to capture ideas. Dividing the page into fours and using a timer to encourage production were helpful keys to generating thinking.

Students were encouraged to do multiple quick sketches in order to capture ideas. Dividing the page into fours and using a timer to encourage production were helpful keys to generating thinking.

·      Pitch and explain to partners

We had to teach into listening skills and used a timer to honor each person's voice. The students conducting the interview were introduced to key words to help them did deeper for information: "Why?" "Tell me more..."

We had to teach into listening skills and used a timer to honor each person's voice. The students conducting the interview were introduced to key words to help them did deeper for information: "Why?" "Tell me more..."

·      Gather feedback

·      Sketch new ideas or evolve idea based on feedback

Students evolved sketch prototypes based on feedback.

Students evolved sketch prototypes based on feedback.

·      Build prototype

Students were given a lot of materials and choices from which to construct their prototypes.

Students were given a lot of materials and choices from which to construct their prototypes.

·      Share and celebrate

It was incredible to watch how meaningful these simply constructed tags were because everyone had experienced the design cycle and appreciated how much work had gone into the process.


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