Sample lesson on designing and making

Sample lesson on designing and making

Designing and making a crayon holder

The following typical structural approach may be used in executing a lesson in the area of ‘Designing & Making’.

Initial problem: can we make a crayon holder for our tables?


Some materials, such as Plasticine and modelling clay, can be moulded into different shapes. Children will have worked with materials such as modelling clay and playdough during informal play. They may suggest using clay or Plasticine to make a crayon holder.

Other children will select cardboard tubes for their design. These children will need to consider how to make bases for their containers and how to stick these bases onto the containers.

Other children may choose materials such as items of reclaimable domestic waste (crisps tins, plastic bottles, squeezy bottles, yoghurt cartons) and modify these artefacts for their own purposes.

The crayon holder should be strong and easy to make.

The children should also focus on making the crayon holder attractive as well as functional.


Children can explore the containers that are already in use in the classroom to hold crayons, such as margarine tubs, plastic tubs, tins and cardboard boxes. The children should observe these containers and consider:

• Why they need crayon holders

• The shapes of these containers

• The crayon holder that is best with regard to

• Durability

• ease of opening and closing

• Attractiveness—colour and shape

• Stability


Consider the materials that can be used to make the crayon container. These might include:

• Paper

• Cardboard tubes and coffee-jar lids

• Shoe-boxes with openings

• Plasticine or modelling clay

The children should consider the most suitable type of container to hold their crayons. They should consider:

• What shape will the container be?

• Will the container be large or small?

• Will the container be strong enough to hold lots of crayons?

• How can it be made to look more attractive?

• How can the container be made suitable for short crayons?


The children draw pictures of the crayon container.

They decide on the materials to use. The teacher will work with children in small groups who need help in.

Moulding plasticine or modelling clay

• Gluing bases to cardboard tubes

• Cutting cardboard


The children should be encouraged to use the crayon holders in the classroom over an extended period. The effectiveness of the design, the suitability of the materials and the durability of the construction will become apparent with use.


Suitable techniques include:

• Teacher observation: willingness to try different ideas; willingness to work with others

• Portfolio : annotated drawings of work


Playdough, Plasticine, paper, cardboard tubes, plastic tubs, cardboard boxes, glue, crayons, modelling clay.

Craft-handling skills

This task provides opportunities for the development of the skills of

• Cutting

• Joining

• Modelling


Solvent-free glues should be used in designing and making activities.