Lesson 3: Making Baby Bear’s chair (free lesson)

Considering what kind of chair Baby Bear would like, pupils develop a design criteria which uses all their knowledge of building strong and stable structures and begin to make their chairs.

Before the lesson

Note

As explained in the Teacher video: Making Baby Bear’s chair, this lesson provides for the children to make a chair using one of the following sets of materials:

  • Paper and tape.
  • Straws and pipe cleaners.
  • Recycled materials.

You may choose to give the children a choice or you may prefer to choose one method and adapt the lesson and resources accordingly. This will depend on time available, resources and your children’s abilities.

If you are not comfortable with managing too many materials/equipment/ tasks at once, restrict the exercise to using paper and tape. 

Watch

  • Teacher video: Making Baby Bear’s chair
  • Pupil video: Making Baby Bear’s chair using paper and tape
  • Pupil video: Making Baby Bear’s chair using straws and pipe cleaners
  • Pupil video: Making Baby Bear’s chair using recycled materials
Teacher video: Making Baby Bear’s chair

Pupil video: Making Baby Bear's chair using paper and tape

Pupil video: Making Baby Bear's chair using straws and pipe cleaners

Pupil video: Making Baby Bear's chair using recycled materials

Have ready

  • Either a book of the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, or link: ‘Fairy Tales as Short Bedtime Stories: The Story of Goldilocks and the three bears’ on VideoLink
  • A demonstration model chair made from each set of the materials that your class will use to make their chairs (see Teacher video: Making Baby Bear’s chair)
  • Paper for children to design their chair
  • Materials, depending on your chosen options (see Teacher video: Making Baby Bear’s chair) either:
    • Paper and masking tape, or
    • Plastic/paper straws and pipe cleaners or
    • Recycled materials (pupils could bring in kitchen roll tubes, packaging, specific materials, etc)
  • Zip lock/sandwich bags labelled with children’s names, to store individual children’s materials and constructed pieces

Learning objective

  • To make a structure according to design criteria

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

Design

  • Design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology

Make

  • Select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics

Technical knowledge

  • Build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable

Success criteria

  • I can remember that chairs are structures and need to be strong, stiff and stable
  • I know how to create joints and structures from paper/card and tape

Cross-curricular links

  • Nothing relevant to this lesson

Attention grabber

Read the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears or play the video clip on link:‘Fairy Tales as Short Bedtime Stories: The Story of Goldilocks and the three bears’ on VideoLink.

Ask the children to discuss the following questions in groups, and then ask the groups to feedback to the class:

  • What were the structures the children saw in the story? (House, table, chair, bed)
  • Why didn’t Goldilocks like Daddy Bear’s chair? (It was too big)
  • Why did Baby Bear’s chair collapse? (It wasn’t strong enough)

Main event

Explore (5 minutes)

The class is going to make a new chair for Baby Bear. Select a teddy bear from the class toys and explain that they will use Teddy to test their chairs.

Make the point that Goldilocks wanted a chair that was ‘just right’. With this in mind, ask the children to contribute points to a class design criteria based on what they have learned about stability, strength and stiffness.

For example:

  • The chair must be able to stand without falling over.
  • The chair must be strong so it doesn’t break when it is sat upon.
  • The structure should be stiff and not bend easily.

Children should also consider:

  • What colour(s) would Teddy like?
  • Would Teddy like a pattern?
  • Would Teddy like a back on the chair to help him/her sit up?
  • How big would the chair need to be?
  • How many legs should the chair have?
  • What shape should the seat be? 

 

Demonstrate (5 minutes)

Show the children your pre-made model or models of the chairs they will make using one or more of the groups of materials:

  • paper and tape
  • straw and pipe cleaners
  • recycled materials

 

Play one or more of the following, depending on which construction materials and methods you are using:

  • Pupil video: Making Baby Bear’s chair using paper and tape.
  • Pupil video: Making Baby Bear’s chair using straws and pipe cleaners.
  • Pupil video: Making Baby Bear’s chair using recycled materials.

Pupil video: Making Baby Bear's chair using paper and tape

Display the video on your interactive whiteboard.

Pupil video: Making Baby Bear's chair using straws and pipe cleaners

Display the video on your interactive whiteboard.

Pupil video: Making Baby Bear's chair using recycled materials

Display the video on your interactive whiteboard.

Make sure the children understand how to create the joints shown to fix parts of their structure together.

 

Make (20 minutes)

Provide the materials and let the pupils create their own chair for Baby Bear.

Before tidying up, provide pupils with named zip lock/sandwich bags to store all their parts in.

 

Safety

  • If pupils are bringing in their own materials, check they are not too difficult for them to cut into with their scissors.
  • If you are not comfortable with managing too many materials/equipment/ tasks at once, restrict it to just paper and tape. 

Differentiation

Pupils needing extra support: Should copy a structure you have made using one joining technique you have shown them, rather than designing their own. They could also use pre-made cylinders such as kitchen rolls.

Pupils working at greater depth: Should work more independently, producing more varied, demanding designs. Can produce neat, stable structures with a variety of joining techniques. Should work with a wider range of materials. Should experiment with different ideas, taking risks and learning from them.

Wrapping up

Ask volunteers to explain their design idea to the class, covering the following:

  • The features Baby Bear would like
  • Colour choices
  • Material choices
  • How they have reinforced joints
  • How they will ensure that their structure is strong, stiff and stable

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding

Pupils with secure understanding indicated by: Working independently to use the materials as demonstrated to begin to make a stable structure. Explaining how their ideas would be suitable for Baby Bear.

Pupils working at greater depth indicated by: Working independently to produce a more demanding design and working with a wider range of materials and construction methods. Using more complicated joining techniques and producing neat results. Articulating why their designs will be suitable for Baby Bear and possibly identify how it could be made even better.

Vocabulary

  • Design criteria

  • Man-made

  • Model

  • Natural

  • Structure

  • Stable

  • Test

Created by:
Tom Turnham,  
Design & Technology specialist
Tom has been a teacher for seven years and, as Head of Upper School at The Belham Primary School, he has a keen interest in young people and good causes. For the past seventeen years he has volunteered with various…
Find out more
Download
save content as pdf file
save content as word file