Designing and Making Model Boats

Beck Anderton
2000, Vol. 5, No. 3,


Taking the design and technology unit of work on boats, I have planned and executed six linked and progressive lessons to guide pupils in Year 2 through the designing and making process. The unit of work on boats is integral to the general theme of Transport and runs throughout the half term, linking to all areas of the curriculum. The design and technology unit is initially given a more specific context, by reading the story Dear Daddy ... , a story about a girl whose father is working away on a cargo ship. The subsequent unit of lessons offers the pupils the opportunity to learn about different types of boats, their shapes and purposes; investigate and test different materials for their floating properties; sketch designs and draw up an equipment and components list; make prototypes and end product; test and evaluate their boat.

'Design and technology is one of the most exciting arcas of the primary curriculum, with its emphasis upon providing opportunities for pupils to design and makc objects using a wide range of materials.' (Richardson, 1996)

The process I followed for this unit of work is similar to that suggested by Crampton, K., and Finney, M. (1988), which comprised the following stages: brief, investigation, ideas, evaluating, developing, planning, realisation, testing and final evaluation. It has been suggested that a design process such as this is too basic:

, ... such models are too simplistic ... the design process cannot be dividcd into neat, sequential compartments.' (Kellett and Jinks, 1993.)

However, I found the process to be a good outline for my planning and one that is suitable for use within the primary classroom.

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