DT Roadshow

Students explain an object that they have never seen.

Photo of chris Fancher
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DT Roadshow


This activity is modeled upon the Antiques Roadshow where people bring in objects to find out what they are and how much they would be worth today.


ACTIVITY:

Students are given an object or an image of a unique or unusual object. They are instructed to write the story of the object to include:

- The name of the object

- What it was used for

- What time period was it used in

- What current day object replaced it

-  Why did it fall out of use

- How much did it cost to buy originally and how much is it worth today.


Teachers may give as little or as much information about the object as they desire. The goal is for students to explore reasons something, like the object, might have been designed.





How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

Students explore ways the object might have been used. They then must decide which way makes the most sense. Finally they have to decide the cost of the item originally and what it would be worth today.

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • Middle School (5-8)

Evaluation results

8 evaluations so far

1. Do you love this idea?

Yes! I love it. - 100%

24 comments

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Photo of Garreth
Team

This is a great idea.  I did this once with students and an avocado-half slicer.  Our purpose was a bit different, though, as we wanted students to discover through use the intent of the object.  However, telling stories as you suggest here is another way to such an end.

It also reminds me of an old American Folk game called "The Liars Club" where an object of unknown intent (usually an antique of some sort, as you note) was brought in and three people who didn't know what it was were asked to create a story and demonstration of its use.  (Of course, before the "game" one of those three was actually made aware of what it was.)

Lots of potential fun here.

Photo of Kevin
Team

Love this! Reminds me of the 'Wonder Shelf' that I learned about from Rafranz Davis. Could even work well - perhaps better - as a homework assignment. Imagine the things kids would find and explore!

Photo of chris
Team

You know I wonder if Rafranz has seen this. I'll have to send her the link and tell her to look at it. Thanks for the comment and the Wonder Shelf idea.

Photo of chris
Team

I like the idea Paula. A board would be easiest. But we might also have a place, like a trophy case, where the physical object could be placed so that students could actually touch it. Great job getting my creative juices flowing! Thanks.

Photo of Paula
Team

I agree with you a place like a trophy case is better for sure! Would be fun to build a bank of objects. When a teacher sees something interesting she can buy so can be later used in class.

Photo of Jessica
Team

This reminds me of one of the Agency by Design thinking routines--I have never used it with students but have participated as a student with it. It was not used with unknown objects but the doing the thinking routine helped us really think about/examine the object.

http://www.agencybydesign.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/AbD_PPC.pdf

Photo of Lisa
Team

Jessica:

I use it ALL the time! That's where I thought the idea came from... Parts, purposes and complexities really slows kids down. I use it with everything. I really don't teach anymore.... I just give them things to look at and figure out!

Photo of Lisa
Team

You can bring this up a level to high school by giving them an object that can be broken up into pieces. I know a college professor who gave teams of students pieces of a horse's harness and asked them to figure out what it was and how it went together and then let them loose for several hours. They could consult experts, look things up online and use any resource they could find. Brilliant way to foster curiosity and collaboration!

Photo of chris
Team

Now that really brings it to a higher level. Love the idea. Maybe we could find objects that come apart easily that would be good candidates for this process.

Photo of chris
Team

I went ahead and added Jessica, James, Paula, and Ravi to "The Team." I am on an October break this week so won't be with students. I'll plan a day where I combine the best elements of my idea and the Agency by Design and will report back how things went. Let's work on perfecting this and getting it selected. Can one or more of you do this in the next two weeks so we can really get some data on how this does for sparking curiosity.

Photo of Paula
Team

YES!!!! Looking forward to collaborating with you!!! Paula

Photo of Lisa
Team

I'd loved to be part of your team!

Photo of chris
Team

Done. We can use more brain power.

Photo of Paula
Team

Chris,

I have been thinking about your idea....what about an enhancement (more like an add on bit). You could have a board within school for this as well , where all different grades could participate. Maybe once a month the students would choose the object they had most fun researching, or the object they thought it was most interesting and they would build this board and anyone could participate. What do you think?

Photo of Ravi
Team

I really like this idea. I think it could combine well with the chance for students to create "narratives" around each proposed idea. This could allow students who may not feel technically inclined to participate and be an avenue for collaboration amongst students.

Photo of Michael
Team

Actually there was a TV show here in Australia called The Collectors
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/collectors/
where they showed a strange object at the beginning of the show and then at the end of the show the expert panel would have to try and work out what a "strange object" was.

Photo of Michael
Team

Write a story where the "strange object" creates the complication.

Photo of Dan
Team

Look at this team you assembled, my friend! Thrilled to have you getting into the thick of it with The Guild.

Photo of Molly
Team

Chris -- you just wrangled a cracker jack team! Love the simplicity of this DT Roadshow! And you could play the theme music from Antique Roadshow!

Photo of chris
Team

For everyone here you go: https://youtu.be/A7JoGGmSAsE

Photo of Ravi
Team

Glad to be a part of the team. Happy to collaborate to work on the idea. I hope to hear back from the team about the chance to work together and refine the concept.

Photo of James
Team

Maybe the Cool/Funky Artifacts idea & DT road show could be connected.
I love that it makes them figure it out.

Photo of Paula
Team

Hi Chris,

Your post has sparked my curiosity! I like how you opened the door to the discovery of the evolution of the object as well. I teach kinder and I believe this idea can be adapted for elementary school as well. Cheers,Paula

Photo of Ravi
Team

I am a big fan of the idea. I have watched "This Old House" (home improvement/contracting show)for years, having little/no handyman ability. The show "Ask This Old House" has a segment devoted to just this. It's more comical with the hosts, but having such little experience in the field, I gained alot of information and options to seek further information about what I learned. Link to some sessions with the information about the segments to which I refer, called "What is it?"(http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/tv/ask-toh/products-and-services/category/0,,4558,00.html)