Out of the Box by Jemma Westing

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If you are looking for an easy way to get a makerspace up and running, start with this inspirational book. With a few supplies, children can make games, puppets, castles and hideaways. The introduction sets the foundation for building with cardboard. Clear instructions and crisp images prepare readers before they begin constructing. “Difficulty Level” thermometers also help children choose a suitable project. Encouraging notes compel makers to work through problems and try different ideas.

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Response to Literature
AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Explore/Create V.B.1. Learners construct new knowledge by problem solving through cycles of design, implementation, and reflection.

  • Engage learners by watching Caine’s Arcade, an inspiring story about a remarkable boy.  Ask students to share their experiences with cardboard creations.
  • Introduce Out of the Box: 25 Cardboard Engineering Projects For Makers by Jemma Westing. Ask learners what project intrigued them the most.
  • Create 2-4 stations that feature projects in the book. Each station will have directions for one project along with necessary materials.
  • Encourage children to make something on their own if they would like. They can use the book to inspire ideas and then make an innovative creation.
  • Invite parents, grandparents and community members to join the fun and offer support.
  • Ask learners to reflect on the experience and share helpful tips for the next group of makers.
  • Enrich the experience by joining the Global Cardboard Challenge.

Cover of Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades by Maureen Schlosser and Rebecca Granatini.
If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.

Mentioned Resources:

Caines Arcade (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faIFNkdq96U)

Global Cardboard Challenge (https://cardboardchallenge.com/)

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