1. Read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing with your students
2. Identify problems faced by the characters in the book
One example problem Peter is that Peter is constantly having to deal with his little brother fudge. Fudge is sickeningly cute and is always trying to touch and play with Peter's stuff. Can you create a fudge alarm for Peter's room so that his little brother won't be able to touch his stuff?
Incase the Fudge alarm doesn't go off, create a back-up system to protect Peter's turtle, Dribbles. Build the turtle a "fudge proof cage" so that there is no way Fudge could let Dribbles out!
3. Brainstorm ways to solve Peter's little brother problems
In groups or independently, students should come up with ways to engineer solutions to Peter's problems.
4. Build Solutions
Give students time to construct their solutions.
5. Test Solutions and Iterate
Challenge students to test their solutions and find ways to improve their creations.
Give students the opprotunity to share their solutions with classmates through verbal presentation or written form.
If Peter had a Fudge alarm and a Fudge proof cage for Dribbles, Judy Blume wouldn't have been able to write the same story! With your engineering, how would the story change? What could Judy Blume write about instead? Create a new chapter for Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing that incorporates the solution you created.
Example LEGO Solutions to this Prompt:
If Fudge tries to open the door to Peter's room, the ropes will make a clanking noise and fall down on him.
Fudge Alarm in Action:
Fudge-proof case for Dribbles:
To make sure the Fudge can't open Dribbles's cage, the opening to this cage is so high up that only Peter and his Mom can reach it! Also, the door is thick and heavy, making it even harder to open, so even if Fudge stood on a chair his muscles wouldn't be big enough to lift up the door to the cage!
To see an example of a new chapter incorporating these solutions, check out this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7b42lN65NIrbGItQ01hS2JVNUU/view?usp=sharing