As part of our Young Makers: From Making to Invention effort, we led a number of professional development workshops for educators and intentionally played around with the language of prompts. How does the phrasing of a “challenge”, “question”, “directive”, or “task” translate to action? Do certain words make the activity more accessible? Do other terms inspire? Intimidate?
Drawing from our experiences, the following tool on “Building a Prompt” sparks consideration in how wording, context, structure, and language affect the intention and goals embedded in a seemingly-simple sentence. For additional reference, at our workshops, we set up five loose stations of materials and set up a written prompt at each:
** Invent something new out of what you take apart
** Build a replica of your house
** Demonstrate to a friend how a circuit works!
** How might we use textiles to design a symbol for our clubhouse?
These resources were developed with the generous support of the Lemelson Foundation.