7380 Girard Avenue, La Jolla

Gillispie School / Elementary  / Grade 3 and Kindergarten Collaborative Design-Thinking Challenge

Grade 3 and Kindergarten Collaborative Design-Thinking Challenge

To help children practice the design-thinking process, teachers have been engaging their classes in short collaborative projects.

One of these projects involved the Kindergartners and third graders working together to get Billy Goat Gruffs across the bridge.

Kindergarten students have been reading old storybook favorites during Readers Workshop, including the classic, The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Teachers presented the Kindergartners and their Grade 3 book buddies with a design challenge: create a way to get the three billy goats in the story (now fatter) back over the water without using the troll’s bridge. The only stipulation was that the materials had to be accessible in a school. (Sorry, no rocket engines.)

The book buddies met to brainstorm ideas with one another and then created a blueprint, material list, and plan for their next meeting. Students were given various materials and worked together to create a prototype of their designs.

The Kindergarten Cottage was abuzz with engineers collaborating as they met setbacks and continued pressing on. Most of the groups chose to skip recess in order to complete their projects. Later, they will present their ideas to each other.

Not only did students have fun with this hands-on project and exercise their creative thinking, they were able to practice valuable skills like collaboration, effective communication, and perseverance.


About Gillispie School: We are an independent toddler through Grade 6 school in La Jolla, CA. We believe that learning is a journey in which children are active participants. Our students partner with teachers to further their academic, creative, and social growth, and we balance a child-centered approach that does not rush childhood with well-researched academic programs that demand higher-level thinking. Click here to learn more about our school.

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