Divide the class into partner groups of two. Each group assembles a puzzle desk from individual components and a photo of the completed project (either independently or with teacher assistance). Optional activity: have these partner groups compete for the fastest completion time. The winning group reports their strategy and methodology to the class. Teacher discussion of problem solving techniques (observation, consideration of options, trial and evaluation) and skills needed to create an instructional manual: component classification, sequencing of tasks, and the perspective/orientation of how the end-user will assemble the desk.
NOTE: Alternate lesson if assembly is too difficult - provide instructions to the students.
Teacher lesson on measurement skills. Students will group, label and measure components - noting their length (L), width (W) and thickness (T). Teacher lesson on reducing fractions, so measurements will be reported properly. Teacher introduces concepts of board-feet (measurement of materials) and project cost based on board-feet. If applicable - teacher introduces use of an electronic spreadsheet to aid in these calculations.
Write an Instructional Manual; incorporating the classification, sequencing, classification, sequencing, perspective, and orientation skills learned while building.
NOTE: Alternate lesson is to journal the building experience.
Component List. Photograph each component group, label them, and list their dimensions.
Assembly Instructions. Teacher reviews orientation and perspective concepts when describing assembly steps (i.e. which side is the 'front' or the 'left.') Students will rebuild the desk; documenting and photographing each step - providing detailed assembly instructions.
Testing. Students will dismantle the desk and rebuild it according to their instructions. By having students build strictly by what is written, they will discover the importance of writing precise, clear instructions. Testing and re-writing the assembly instructions is equivalent to debugging a computer program.
Students will film an instructional video that demonstrates the proper assembly of project.
Students will build a unique take-home project (puzzle maze game) to reinforce classroom learning and have fun; while honing hand-eye coordination, perception and concentration!