Old Monster Dog:FOUNDATION-Design & Tech-Explain

Little J is initially scared to approach the ‘monster’ in the back yard. Encouraged to face his fears, he vows to catch the frilly-necked monster and sets about building a monster trap with the help of Levi.

Explain - Explore the characteristics and properties of materials and components that are used to produce a designed solution.  Use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to safely make designed solutions.


Knowing what materials are best to use in constructing a solution to a design problem is most important. Playing with different materials can also build sensory perceptions and language.

Set up the room or outdoor area with different tables holding different objects and experiments:

(1)    Texture table:
Contains domestic and found objects that have different textures:

  • rough, smooth, floury, powdery, spikey, feathery, rubbery, hard, shiny, hairy, furry, corrugated, indented, etc.
  • Have a set of cards that have the texture names lists on them and ask students to feel each substance and place the correct names to the textures.

(2)    Float table:
Contains fish bowls (or something of similar shape and volume) of water, milk, soda water, salt water, oil, etc.

  • different weighted objects, such as a $2 coin, sawdust, wire, sugar, rice, wax, sand, paper, key, elastic band, food colouring, etc.
  • Ask students to record what happens when the object is dropped into the liquid.

Have students align the words with the reactions such as do the objects float, spread, disintegrate, dissolve, sink, etc.

(3)    Strength table:
Contains different materials that can be used to construct a tall tower, such as cardboard, paper, tissue paper, elastic bands, plastic blocks, straws, string, plastic cups, eggs, pencils, ice cream containers, etc.

  • Ask students to try to construct the tallest, stable construction by only using one material. Later, the students can use the materials to construct a tall tower with a choice of two materials.

As a class, check that students have completed all the tasks. Discuss which objects had similar properties (metals, papers, fluids, organic, manmade, etc.) and list them on an association chart.

Ask the students how they might combine materials or objects to create different designs for different purposes.