Each student is provided with materials for constructing pegboard mechanisms, and encouraged to make anything they want. Toward the end of the period, they share their constructions. The teacher uses the students’ work to highlight the distinction between structures and mechanisms.
Exploration with materials: Provide each student with a base, strips and fasteners. Encourage students to build whatever they can with these materials. If necessary, demonstrate how to join pegboard pieces. This video provides ideas on using fasteners, strips and bases.
Whole-class meeting: Ask each student to show the class what he or she has made. It is likely that some of their constructions will be structures, while others will be mechanisms. Highlight these differences by asking of each one: * Does it have any parts that can move separately from others? Or, are all the parts stuck together so each part can move only when all the parts move?
Group activity: Ask each group to sort their constructions according to the two categories, “structure” and “mechanism”. What differences do they notice about the things in each category? See the video on identifying structures and mechanisms.
Wrap-up discussion. Conduct a whole-class meeting to develop what students have learned.
Science Notebooks: Students draw, describe and classify their constructions.