Design and Technology - Analyse that cool kettle

16th March 2012 at 00:00

What the lesson is about

Interviews for teaching jobs frequently include a demonstration lesson. Probably the most common brief for Damp;T is "do a product analysis", writes Paul Anderson.

One approach is to place the emphasis on real learning. Place six boxes around the room. In each box, place a designer product, something with an unusual appearance for its function - for example, Alessi products with their anthropomorphic shapes. Split the class into six teams and give them 10-15 minutes to carry out a product analysis on a worksheet.

They can see and touch the products, but not remove them from the box. The worksheet should have separate columns for the description of the product's features and the "because" - the reason why these features are important - and be large enough for other teams to read the writing.

Next, the teams swap worksheets, cross out the title "Product analysis" and write "Specification". Each team then has 5-10 minutes to produce an annotated sketch of the item described by the other team. With capable pupils, before exchanging worksheets the teams could fold them to hide the description column, so the new team's design should be based on the needs the product must meet.

What else?

As a plenary, compare the drawings to the items. Normally, much hilarity ensues. Ask the teams to explain why the drawings are different from the items and what extra information they would have needed to make them more similar.

For a step-by-step guide to delivering analysis skills, try a box of goodies from JamesDysonFoundation.

For a quick visual activity to warm up an analysis lesson, try pmsims' starter.

Trevulate has shared some colourful prompt cards to get pupils started on product analysis.

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