Lesson 1

Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills

Windmills Storybook / Grade 2 / Cincinnati, OH

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills, L1

A storybook introduces the engineering challenge and context. In this story, Leif, a boy from Denmark, learns about mechanical engineering as he designs his own windmill.

Reflection Questions

Laura adapted some of the activities to better meet the needs of her particular students. Which parts of the lesson do you notice her modifying?

Laura adapted her presentation of the storybook and created a cut-and-paste version of the worksheet. 

  • Laura does not read directly from the storybook. Instead, she projects illustrations from the book on the screen as she retells a shortened version of the story from her notes. (0:15)
  • Laura provides written responses to the questions which students can cut apart and paste into the appropriate box on the Engineering Design Process worksheet. This strategy helps her students consider each of the important ideas on the sheet without being bogged down with writing mechanics. (10:22)

Laura pauses at various points in the story and poses questions to her students. What different types of questions do you see her asking?

Laura asks questions that help her assess prior knowledge, and check for student understanding about key points in the story.

  • Laura checks for understanding by asking her students to look carefully at the illustration of Leif at the harbor and identify items they see blowing in the wind. (1:59)
  • Laura does a quick assessment of prior knowledge when she says, "Put your hand on your head if you know what a windmill is." (10:22)
  • Laura asks her students a series of questions that help them recall important points in the story and review new vocabulary words, such as mechanical engineer, machines, and the steps of the Engineering Design Process. (6:30)