Science, DT, Maths
Literacy (instructions, labelled diagrams)
About a lesson
System thinking, Adapting, Visualizing, Improving
The Wicked Witch in the Singing Sands (pdf), Sticks, String, Elastic bands, Masking tape (and others types of sticky tape), Dolls (to test)
Pupils are given a task to design and make a high house for a family to live in that is safe from the witch who steals pupils. Must be secure and sturdy with a detachable access route. Links to short story - The Wicked Witch of the Singing Sands.
A short introduction of the story (preferably through drama). Explain that it is rumoured that the witch steals pupils and the family must build a safe house where the witch is unable to get to the pupils.
Pupils begin by designing a safe house considering the resources that are available. This must be high enough so that the witch cannot get to it - this could be in tree or using other ways to hang the house. This is a very free activity where pupils can test and adapt their ideas throughout.
Challenge - create a mechanism to pull the access route up.
Support - pupils just to make the house and place in a tree.
Encourage pupils to test their house and evaluate whether it is safe and secure and will not fall with the weight of doll pupils.
I completed this activity outside with the agenda that any natural resources the pupils find and wish to use - they could. Although, I origninally planned for this lesson to take an hour, it actually took 2 hours. Many pupils decided to hang their house from the school fence.
The Wicked Witch of the Singing Sands (pdf copy available online)