What's the Process?

How does lamb’s wool become a coat? How does a bill become a law? Strengthen critical thinking skills with this lesson about process.

  • 1.

    Introduce the lesson to students by reading a book together that involves a process. Some good examples are: Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomi dePaola, Abuela’s Weave by Omar Castaneda, and Building Our House by Jonathan Bean. Discuss how following a process can result in the creation of something new.

  • 2.

    An alternate opening would begin with a discussion of how new ideas are developed through the use of a structured thinking process. As an example, take a look at how a bill becomes a law.

  • 3.

    Show students pictorial diagrams that illustrate the process discussed at the lesson’s opening or draw a quick series of stick figures on the classroom whiteboard (or blackboard) as a demonstration.

  • 4.

    Invite students to think of other products or ideas that involve the use of a structured thinking or production process. Ask them to share their ideas with the class.

  • 5.

    Discuss which ideas they would like to illustrate and have students divide into groups. Ask each group to discuss their chosen topic to determine what images they will need for their pictorial diagram. Suggest that each member of the group create several of the illustrations.

  • 6.

    Provide rolls of craft paper and smaller sheets of white drawing paper as well as plenty of Crayola® Colored Pencils and Markers. Remind students to create simple, bold images that will be easy for people to see from a distance since the final products will be displayed on the walls in the classroom and nearby hallways. Some groups may wish to mount the craft paper directly on the wall and work standing up as muralists. Others may prefer to create their drawings on individual sheets of white paper and then mount them in the appropriate order on a roll of craft paper afterwards.

  • 7.

    Once groups have finished their work, invite students to display their work in the classroom or a nearby hallway. Provide time for each group to present their work to the class explaining the process they chose to illustrate and describing the artistic choices they made.

Standards

  • LA: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • LA: Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).
  • LA: Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).
  • LA: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being and that are basic to a particular topic.
  • LA: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being and that are basic to a particular topic.
  • SS: Describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the productions and exchange of goods and services.
  • SS: Explain actions citizens can take to influence public policy decisions.
  • VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

Adaptations

  • Invite a craftsman to demonstrate part of the process involved in creating a particular product. For example, what is involved in turning wool from a sheep into a coat or hat?
  • Invite a legislator to speak to students about how a bill becomes a law. Ask him or her to describe one or two specific bills he or she helped introducing into law.