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Getting Started Select Design Task Learn About Design

Shopping Bag Timeline - Phase 1

MOVIE 1:  3 Minutes 12 Seconds
MOVIE 1:  4 Minutes 07 Seconds

The beginning of the Shopping Bag task aims to get students to notice features of different shopping bags, and later to determine which ones lead to better bag performance. Students start by doing a scavenger hunt and collecting a wide variety of bags. The memory of these different designs will come in handy when students design their own bags (Phase 3). During Phase 1, students working in teams grab a handful of different bags, and place them in piles, based on categories of their own making. The aim here is to get students to develop a shared language for describing key features of shopping bags, especially handle design. Note that on one teacher's statement, "These might not be correct categories" may move away from the STW! philosophy.

You may find students organize bags according to surface features that they notice rather then deeper ones related to structure. They may focus on the bags lettering, or their colors rather than the materials they are made of or the ways the bag handles work. One way to address this is to plant "seed" ideas with certain groups. Listen to how Gary Benenson does this with teachers in Movie 1. Do those seed ideas appear in later discussions?

Related Pages You Might Want To Visit

Phase 1 of Shopping Bag involves collecting and sorting bags -- click on this link to hear Gary Benenson talk more generally about what's behind the Scavenger Hunt strategy. Students often initially sort bags by features that may seem superficial or unimportant to your lesson -- find out about cognitive science research on the Surface/Deep Categories page.

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