Fire Engines

Project Overview

This term we have been learning about how wheels and axles work.  We have examined a range of toys with moving wheels and we have drawn pictures and diagrams identifying the different parts.  We have considered the best shapes and sizes for wheels, including making our own shapes and designs using play dough, as well as designing our own shoe box fire engines, with moving wheels.  Our next step is to measure some dowel and saw them to the right length to make our axles before attaching them to our fire engines.

What The Student Says

When discussing what was the same and what was different about the vehicles:

“The taxi and the police car both have four wheels.” – 2SM pupil.

“The carriage runs by an animal and the fire truck runs on an engine.” – 2SM pupil.

“The axles let the wheels turn and the car move.” – 2SM pupil.

What skills were developed?

The children have:

  • Explored and evaluated a range of products with wheels and axles.
  • Explored and used wheels, axles and axle holders.
  • Distinguished between fixed and freely moving axles.
  • Generated initial ideas and simple design criteria through talking and using their own experiences.
  • Developed and communicated ideas through drawings and plans.
  • Selected from and used a range of tools and equipment and used measuring and sawing techniques to make axles and decorative elements on their product.
  • Evaluated their ideas throughout and their products against original criteria.
  • Understood and used technical vocabulary.

What The Teacher Says

“The children have loved working on this project.  I have been impressed by the rich discussions they have had and their use of technical vocabulary.  I loved their play dough wheel designs – the children’s responses included thinking about size, shape and use.  Using toy vehicles was a great hook into engaging the children in their learning and they had some interesting conversations about the different parts, naming the wheels, axles, chassis and body.   Their plans have been realistic and well thought-out, building on what they have learned throughout the topic.  The end products are great.”

Mrs Stirk – 2SM Class teacher