During the last school year, CREATE shared duties as our school's art room, so I had a lot of contact with our fabulous art teacher, Mrs. Dickson. One day, she and I were talking and she made reference to a "protein sprayer." Since Mrs. Dickson grew up in her native Japan, and "protein sprayer" was such an unusual reference, after I stopped my silly giggling, I asked her to repeat herself. As it turned out, she had said "pro tennis player,' which actually did make contextual sense. And it got me thinking...
What was a protein sprayer? What if somebody tried to build one? What if students were given random nouns and verbs and asked to build the object suggested by that combination?
- Generate a list of random nouns.
- Generate a list of random verbs.
- Print each list and cut the words up into separate pieces.
- Put the verbs into one container and the nouns into another.
- Have the students pick a noun and a verb.
- No matter what they pick, they are then committed to designing and building that thing and describing its function.
Imagine the possibilities when students build river separators or toothpaste concentrators or ghost traders...