Lesson 1

The Best of Bugs: Designing Hand Pollinators

Hand Pollinator Storybook / Grade 1 / Stillwater, MN

EiE - The Best of Bugs: Designing Hand Pollinators, L1

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The EIE Curriculum

A storybook introduces the engineering challenge and context. In this story, Mariana, a girl from the Dominican Republic, learns about agricultural engineering as she designs a hand pollinator to use in her garden.

Reflection Questions

What evidence do you see that Julie’s students have been taught the norms and expectations for group work?

Julie’s students understand the value of teamwork and readily share their thinking. They justify their ideas and come to consensus before writing. 

  • Students take turns reading aloud, and without being prompted, one girl helps her teammate read the word “new.” (3:23)
  • After two students have declared that they think the answer to the question is pollen, one girl asks the other group members, “Do you guys think that’s pollen?” (3:34)
  • When Julie asks one team how they know all the answers, one child happily declares, “We worked together as a team.” (3:44)
  • Students listen to each other and come to consensus before deciding which Engineering Design Process step to write on the worksheet. (6:29 and 6:40)

What strategies do you see Julie using to keep her young students engaged and curious about the lesson?

Julie has a very animated style of reading that makes listening fun. She asks challenging questions and connects the story to students' lives.

  • Julie uses lots of different voices as she reads. She whispers the word “pollination” (3:54) and demonstrates Mariana’s excitement when she exclaims, “My pollinator worked!” (5:10)
  • Julie plays the role of skeptic to get her kids to convince her that insects help pollinate plants (0:41), and she challenges her students to do detective work to figure out the jobs of the items on the worksheet. (3:00)
  • Julie connects the problem in the book to her students when she asks, “Could you design your own pollinator? Raise your hand if you are thinking of a way.” (4:40)