Ideas for creative classes

20th May 2005 at 01:00
Starting Points in Designand Technology A World of Display series Folens Pounds 14.99 Tel: 0870 609 1237 Email:

Looking for inspiration? Well, sit down with a cup of tea and peruse this book. Like the other titles in the World of Display series, it is full of eye-catching photographs incorporating bought and recycled materials.

Additionally, it contains step-by-step instructions on how to create all these exciting products.

Starting Points is divided into six chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of DT. There are 30 activities which explore and demonstrate key skills in the subject. These range from the very simple to more challenging and are intended for individuals, small groups, classes and whole-year groups. All examples are made by children of various abilities and give an incentive to teachers and children to adapt these designs.

Many of the activities link together: for example a truck made in the "mechanisms" chapter can be adapted to run on electricity in the "electrical power" chapter.

Each activity follows a similar structure, with a list of resources and a suggested approach. These are simple enough for DT-confident teachers, but for more complicated activities, such as pop-up books, other instructional texts may be necessary. What is refreshing is that all the resources required to complete suggested activities are already available inschools, so require fewextra purchases from tight budgets. The photographsshow different examples ofthe same activity and give simple and purposeful ideas on how you can display the finished products.

This is a good launch pad for ideas, a book to be passed around and shared.

It invites discussion and adaptation. It is not recommended that you just get the children to do all the activities, but instead, use them as examples.

Paul Talbot is a DT advanced skills teacher at Woodfield School, Kingsbury, London

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