**Revised 11/28/15 - new materials linked below. Choose revision 1 materials if you want a shorter activity (12 - 18 minutes), revision 2 materials for prolonged practice (18 - 24 minutes).
Ever introduced your class to new software in the hopes that they could use it to complete a project, only to realize that many of your students are getting hung up on the minutiae of the software? Students need time to practice! But projects ask them to dive right in; often, the first time they're introduced to a new tool or technique, they're only apply it once or twice, which often misses the opportunity to reinforce and encourage a kind of fluency that can be transferred to other contexts.
This is the first in what will be a series of lessons that target a very specific skill. It gets students practicing that skill for an extended period of time while - hopefully - having fun and feeling a sense of accomplishment while doing so. My hope is that we as a community of educators can create more and more of these kinds of skill builders; and share them with each other so we all benefit from each others' experimentation in the classroom (and iterate to improve)! While this lesson applies only to Tinkercad, I'd be pumped if more educators developed and shared lessons like these for other modeling software packages.
Learning Objective: Students will be able to navigate efficiently in TinkerCAD.
Essential Questions: Why are the tools of navigation so important in a 3D modeling environment?
How can we be sure that an object is where we want it to be?
Modeling software: Tinkercad
Level: Beginner (this is a great "first days" lesson with Tinkercad)
Requisite Skills & Understandings: A Tinkercad account for each student.
The ability to navigate (orbit, pan, zoom), place and resize primitives, use the workplane and ruler, make a hole, group, and subtract one primitive from another.
Pedagogical Suggestions: have students work in pairs
Common Core Standards: to be updated
Preparation & Guidance:
Before the lesson:
- Electronically distribute the Google Doc (linked below) with the the instructions and space to complete the before the lesson. Ideas around how to create electronic copies while being able to track and review their work are also below. (For this lesson to work well, you'll want to establish structures around using Google Documents, Google Drive, and taking screenshots earlier in the semester.)
- Try the lesson out before the students do.
- Check links within the document to be sure that none of them are broken.
The Do Now that I developed for this lesson highlights one reason for the importance of navigation. To develop a context for that conveys its importance:
- The Do Now shows a sequence of images, each one allowing the viewer to better determine how well aligned four letters are.
- With each image, ask, "Are the letters where you thought they were?" Followup: "Why weren't you able to tell before? Why are you able to tell now?"
- If the word perspective does not come up naturally, insert it somewhere within the discussion (one way to get it to come up from the Do Now is to ask: "What changed with each picture?")
- Once "perspective" becomes an operating keyword within the lesson, ask: "How can you change your perspective?"
- Ideally, as students answer, the ideas of getting closer (zoom), moving around (orbit), and moving left and right or up and down (pan) will come up. These are keywords and should make their way onto the board and into student notes.
The activity is supposed to feel a little competitive. If this works for your students, play it up as such.
Resources: (please copy and adapt at will)
Differentiation: to be developed