Seven steps to creation

30th January 1998 at 00:00

John Williams. HOUSES AND HOMES. John Williams. SIMPLE MACHINES. By Fran Whittle and Sarah Lawrence.

TOYS AND GAMES. John Williams. THINGS TO WEAR. Margot Richardson. Wayland Pounds 9.50 each.

Each of these bright zappy books offers seven to 11-year-old children a dozen exciting things to make. Instructions come in no more than seven concise easy-to-read steps, clearly illustrated with sharp photographs. The only problem many children will have will be deciding what to make first. The darting frog from Toys and Games, the light-up badge from Things to Wear, or the Mouse-a-pult from Simple Machines?

Constructions require no more than will be found in any reasonably stocked design and technology cupboard: card-board, plastic and tinfoil containers; more specialised junk such as cotton reels and old film canisters; PVA glue, elastic bands, paper clips; and simple tools such as a hand drill, junior hacksaw and craft knife.

Although children could make most of the things unaided, some will require adult assistance or supervision, particularly when potentially dangerous tools such as craft knives or saws are involved.

Each construction is either a model of something in real life or otherwise the author explicitly relates the object's technological and design principles to real life. Jack-in-the-box, for example, which works by squeezing air from a polythene container through a tube, is related to the pneumatic drill. For many of the constructions, there are suggestions for extending the design principles on which it works.

Paul Harrison is a former primary school headteacher and a freelance writer and lecturer on primaryeducation

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now