Third Grade Pirates Set Sail

Avast! Off the starboard bow, there be third graders! Third grade has a tradition of using PACT days for design and fabrication challenges, and in honor of the upcoming International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we chose a pirate theme for our initial challenge: build a workable ship that can carry as much pirate treasure as possible.

Everyone on a pirate ship needs to work together, and the focus of our design challenge was on collaboration. Crew members had to be ready to pitch their individual ideas, listen to other ideas and decide, as a group, which idea to pursue. They then had to decide how to divide and share the work so that each member was contributing to building the ship.

Once the testing started, crews had to put their heads together to analyze what worked well and make plans for what could be improved. Some teams found success from the get-go and plotted a course to make improvements so that their ships could carry even more plundered booty. Others used the prototyping cycle to fix problems that sent their initial constructions to the bottom of Davy Jones’ Locker.

It was jolly good fun to dress and act like pirates. The collaborative and design skills these students worked on will be built upon for the rest of the year. Arrrr! (Timothy Bernhardt, ES Teacher)