From Woodpeckers to Water Teacher Sheet

From Woodpeckers to Water Teacher Sheet Woodpecker. Photo Credit: by Charles de Mille-Isles (CC BY 2.0) via flickr.


This lesson consists of five units on the role of modeling and prototyping in invention education to spark new solutions to ease the water-access crisis. The information on this sheet helps to explain your function during this lesson and provides suggestions for how you can guide your students.

Teacher Role

Written as initiative, project-based, inquiry-learning, this lesson deliberately has a reduced instructional role for you. The goal is to encourage student initiative, leadership, and team-building so that through their engagement they form a problem-solving creativity corps. This lesson requires each student to take turns as needed to perform leadership, administrative, and operational roles in the project by assuming/inventing titles in class exercises, such as Inquiry Manager or Conference Moderator. Eventually these roles replace most of your involvement because students respond to the needs of the project and generate titles themselves to become a self-organizing/assembling unit.

For this lesson, you function mainly as a facilitator or operations manager. Your role is to keep students safe and spark productive inquiry, problem-solving, and collaboration among students to find answers and organize themselves to take the next steps toward designing an improved approach for providing people in countries that lack water infrastructure easier access to fresh water.

Helpful directions might include issuing frequent affirming prompts such as:

  • “Say more about that…”
  • “Take that a bit further….”
  • “Listen to xxxx. Reflect on what you two just said….”
  • “You have everything you need to build this out…keep going….”
  • “Try, dare, do….”
  • “Everything is data. If you hit a deadend, there is data there you can use…keep going.”
  • “Keep a notebook.”
  • “Trust your colleagues.”
  • “Ask for help.”
  • “Focus on the question and the answer will come. Do it the opposite way--cling to so-called right answers--and you’ll never reach an impactful question that matters.”
  • “Take a break. Walk around. Do something else. Get some exercise. Eat actual nutrients. Give the problem some residence time in your imagination without your conscious mind directing it.”
  • “Sleep on it.”
  • “Take another go.”
This teacher sheet is a part of the From Woodpeckers to Water: Designing Models to Ease Freshwater Access Crisis lesson.

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