Geometry Playground

Student Resources playground
Image source: www.clipart.com
Teacher Resources

open

  • Invitation to inquiry
  • Open minds
  • Stimulate curiosity

Background KnowledgeImmerse

  • Build background knowledge
  • Connect to content
  • Discover interesting ideas
Icons from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.
Research Scenario

Have you ever seen a child get injured on the playground?Use the bar graph to interview your classmates about their past injuries that have happened on a playground.

Essential Question: How can your knowledge of geometry and physics help you create a safer playground?

You know from personal experience just how many bumps, cuts and bruises you and your friends have gotten on your school's playground equipment, but did you know how many children are hurt each year? According to National Program for Playground safety (NPPS) data, over 200,000 children in the U.S. were injured seriously enough on playgrounds to require emergency room treatment each year. Many of these injuries could be prevented if playgrounds were designed with safety in mind. To keep our students safe, the P.T.A. has decided to sponsor a "Safe Playground Contest."

You can watch a Safari Montage video about playground safety to find out more about the rules.

Playground Safety Video

Explore

  • Explore interesting ideas
  • Look around
  • Dip in
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

blueprintImage source: www.clipart.com

Task and Product

To enter the contest, you must first research safe playground design. Then, you will use your knowledge of geometry and physicss to create a working model of a safe playground.

Explore

Let's look at how playgrounds can be dangerous through these resources. You may use this organizer (digital and print) to track your thoughts.

Next, you will form into groups of four. Each of you will be responsible for researching a specific piece of playground equipment:

  • swings
  • slides
  • seesaws
  • climbing equipment

After you gather information about how playgrounds are dangerous you will apply this knowledge to your specific piece of equipment and share your knowledge with the group.

Next, you will use your knowledge of physics and geometry to design the blueprint for the playground. Each person in the group is responsible for determining the safe fall zone, height of and distance from other equipment. For example, the person who researched swings would calculate the fall zone; the maximum and minimum heights of the swing; and the distance the swing must be from the slides, seesaws, and climbing equipment

Finally, your group must use your knowledge of geometric forms to build the sturdiest and safest model of playground equipment you can construct.

 

evaluate

  • Evaluate the achievement of learning goals
  • Reflect on content
  • Reflect on process
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.


 

Assessments

The following scoring tools may be used or adapted by you and your teacher to evaluate your research process and your final product and presentation. You can use these assessments throughout your inquiry process to plan, make decisions, monitor your progress, and self-assess your achievement of your inquiry-based learning goals.

Research Process Assessments:

Collaboration & Communication Assessments:

Final Product & Presentation Assessments:

Combined Process/Product Assessment:

Identify

  • Pause and ponder
  • Decide direction
  • Identify inquiry question
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

Questions

Overarching Question:

How can your knowledge of geometry and physics help you create a safer playground?

Subsidiary Questions:

  • What is a fall or safety zone?
  • What is the maximum height your equipment can safely be? The minimum?
  • What geometric shape(s) create the strongest structures?
  • How do you calculate how far away each piece of equipment must be from any other piece of equipment?
  • What is kinetic energy? What does kinetic energy have to do with playground equipment

gather

  • Gather important information
  • Go broad (search)
  • Go deep (read)
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

Gather & Sort

Apply effective search strategies in order to locate and evaluate sources and digital content relevant to your information need.

group of kids

Create

  • Reflect on learning
  • Go beyond facts to make meaning
  • Create to communicate
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

kids on a computer

Image source: www.clipart.com

Create

After you complete your research, you will use your knowledge to create:

  1. A blueprint showing the placement of each piece of playground equipment.

Your blueprint could be hand drawn or use the Floor Planner. It must have the following:

 
  • be drawn to scale (1 inch = 1 foot)
 
  • have a key that tells the meaning of each symbol and the maximum/minimum height for each piece of equipment
 
  • indicate the fall zone by drawing a shaded circle the correct distance around the piece of equipment (see Student Resources for resources to help you).
 
  • be a representation. Remember that a blueprint is NOT a drawing; instead, a blueprint is a 2D representation of a 3D object.
. 2. A model created to scale of the playground equipment.

Your teacher may choose to have you construct your models using:

  • Connects©
  • straws and marshmallows
  • recycled materials
  • For an example of models made from recycled materials, click here.

 

share

  • Learn from each other
  • Share your learning
  • Tell your story
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.


Share

Meet with your fellow group members to prepare your oral presentation of your research. Use this scoring tool for oral presentations for help.

Present your research findings to your inquiry community by participating in a gallery walk of all of the team models.

Playground

 

evaluate

  • Evaluate the achievement of learning goals
  • Reflect on content
  • Reflect on process
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

Evaluate:

Evaluate the achievement of your inquiry-based learning goals using the scoring tools in the Assessments section, as directed by your teacher:
  • Reflect on your learning of the content by writing a response to the Overarching Question; support your response with ideas and evidence from both your own research and your classmates' presentations.
  • Reflect on your inquiry process using Self Reflection on Inquiry.


Extend your learning:

There is a program, Our Dream Playground, that gives you ideas about how to make your playground a reality in your communiuty. You can find out details on how to build, find funding, or volunteer on a project to turn the playground from an idea to reality!

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