Building And Designing In The Primary School Subject


Building and designing in the primary school subject

How do you build a stable bridge? Why is the tower so wobbly? On which surface is the self-built car the fastest? And why does a nutcracker free a walnut from its hard shell so easily? Here you can find out why schoolchildren should practice building and designing!

When the subject of “building and designing” is on the agenda in non-fiction lessons, elementary school students can get to the bottom of these and many, many other questions. You will learn to make assumptions, observe, check, compare, measure and document.

The topic becomes particularly exciting for the children when the experiments make it clear to them how things work that they encounter every day. There are some things that they may never have questioned before, but suddenly they understand why we B. a bottle opener makes opening a bottle easier. This sharpens your view of how and why something works.

The children’s thirst for research is sparked by the possibility of constructing things such as buildings or vehicles themselves and testing their functionality in experiments. The important question is why something works well or not so well.

In order to track down the reasons, the pupils create hypotheses and check them: If the bridge they have built themselves is not secure, it may help to stabilize it with additional bridge piers.

Through these and similar insights of the children, the material lessons create an important basis for the ability to think in a problem-solving manner and to act confidently and independently.

Technology and construction are not only of interest to boys!

With regard to the topic of “technology”, these experiences are particularly valuable for girls, who are often less enthusiastic about it than boys at first. Dealing with technical issues and discovering that it is not that difficult and that it is not only fun for the boys, arouses interest in technology in girls too.

According to the results of the TIMS study (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) published in November 2016, there is a clear reduction in the performance difference between boys and girls in the natural sciences compared to the results of 2007. The scientists attribute this improvement to better ones science support for girls in primary schools.

The TIMS study examines the basic mathematical and scientific understanding of elementary school students at the end of the 4th grade.

So it’s good that “building and designing” has found its place in the curriculum and education plans in most federal states 🙂

Educational goals of the topic “Building and Constructing”

The educational objectives of the subject of “building and construction” are extremely diverse:

Insert tools:

The students get to know different tools and how they can be used.

Important: The safety aspect should not be neglected!

Material knowledge:

Different materials have different properties. It is ideal if the children can choose between different materials for different solutions. During construction, the students get to know these and test which materials are particularly suitable for their building projects.

Get to know technical terms:

The children also get to know the scientific and technical terms and what is behind them. What do you understand z. B. under statics, which construction methods are there for bridges and what is the name of the tool with which I assemble my vehicle?


When building and designing, the students have a lot of freedom for their own design ideas. Scientific principles form the framework for the creative scope.

Learning by applying:

When testing out how to build a tower even higher, a bridge even wider or a vehicle even more streamlined, the students learn through play and observe physical principles. They understand with their hands, so to speak 🙂

This increases the understanding of the technical basics and functionality that they encounter in everyday life.

Strengthen social skills:

When the students work together on a project to construct something, social skills are also required. The children have to agree who will take on which tasks and how they want to proceed.

Promote motor skills:

When screws are to be screwed in or sticks are to be stacked to form a tower, calm and skillful hands are required. When building and using the tools, the children’s fine motor skills are trained. You can find out more about this in the blog post “Promoting fine motor skills in students” .

Improve spatial awareness:

When planning buildings, students learn to think three-dimensionally.

Concentrated work:

The students enjoy planning and implementing the drafts, but it also requires concentrated work. The cognitive skills are required when the students e.g. B. have to decide where which part has to go for the construction to succeed.

Abstract thinking:

When designing, students learn to pay attention to simple technical relationships and understand what is behind them.

Dealing with failures:

Not every construction is a success. Sometimes the structure collapses or the self-designed car does not want to drive. When it comes to building and designing, however, such failed attempts are very valuable.

Anything that doesn’t work has to be questioned: the fault has to be tracked down and rectified. Only then does it often become clear why something works and what you have to pay attention to when building. Through this, students practice problem-based learning and develop strategies to solve these problems.

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