Design a Sign

Katie Powers

Unit Title:
Design A Sign



Design A Sign

Design A Sign

Total Estimated Duration:
8 - 48 Minute Periods

Unit Lessons:
Lesson 1: Beginning the Engineering Design Process
Lesson 2: Completing the Engineering Design Process

Background Knowledge:

  1. Students know how to find areas of regular shapes (rectangle, parallelogram, triangle, trapezoid, rhombus, kite, and circle) as well as the area of some irregular shapes.
  2. Students have an understanding for using Ratios, Scale Factors, and Proportions.

Additional Resources:
Meredith Post of LPK International Designsprovided the framework to make this unit true to the life of a Graphic Designer who may be contracted to design a sign such as the one in this unit.

January 2013

The Big Idea (global relevance)

Attending high school is a privilege that American students often take for granted.  Designing a sign to advertise their high school provides students with the opportunity to consider why attending high school is valuable.  In determining how to advertise their school in a positive light to the community, students will consider how to be true to that positive advertisement.  In other words, students will have the opportunity to take ownership for the current and future academic status of their school.

Essential Questions
  1. The school board has turned down the opportunity to move forward with building a new school.  How could we build our rapport with our community so that they would want to move forward with the new building project in the future?
  2. Does signage/advertising work?
The Challenge

Winton Woods High School  District is in Academic Watch.  How will our school advertise that we are a school worth supporting?  That our current building is a desirable place to learn?

The Hook 

If we are able to communicate a more positive impression of our school to the community, they may want to join our team and build the proposed new school building.

Guiding Questions
  1. How big does a sign need to be? (Research:  How big is the Target sign?)
  2. What distance away will people be able to see our sign?
  3. What, if any, legal requirements are there for school signage?
ACS (Real world applications; career connections; societal impact)

With a new sign for our school, we as students and teachers have an impression to uphold.  To proclaim that our school is “Aiming for Excellence,” for example, means that we need to literally aim for excellence in our academics day in and day out.

By putting up a new sign for our school, and making that investment as a class, we may want to contribute to our community in ways outside of our school work.  The question of “how can we serve our community?” came up in more than one class.

Engineering Design

Students work through each step of the Engineering Design Process in this unit.  The last step of “redesign” is a project extension where students will work with the School Board to come up with a final plan to install a new sign for our building. 

The career focus for this unit is a Graphic Designer.  While this career is not specific to engineering, the Graphic Designer charged with creating a sign for a company must go through the same steps as the Engineering Design Process.

Unit Academic Standards

Common Core State Standards

G.MG.A.1 Use geometric shapes, their measures, and their properties to describe objects.

G.GPE.B.7 Use coordinates to compute perimeters of polygons and areas of triangles and rectangles

MC8.G.A.3 Describe the effect of dilations, translations, rotations, and reflections on two-dimensional figures using coordinates. Use geometric shapes, their measures, and their properties to describe objects

MC6.RP.A.1 Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities.

MC6.RP.A.3 Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

Math Process Standards

  1. MP1  Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. MP4  Model with mathematics.
  3. MP5  Use appropriate tools strategically.
  1. 5  “Research” Signs found from Internet, Magazines, etc.
  2. “Brainstorm” Sketches of Signs
  3. “Choosing the best option”:  1-1.5 minute presentation of brainstorm sketches & critique
  4. Presentation of sign and math/engineering design content used in development of sign
  5. Final Portfolio

Summative Assessment

  1. Students’ understanding for calculating area and using ratios and proportions  are assessed, using the POGIL.
  2. Students’ ability to communicate their learning and speak to an audience is assessed in their speech, using a Rubric.
  3. Students’ ability to complete all assignments and organize them is assessed in their final portfolio.
How to Make This a Hierarchical Unit

This is a High School Unit.  It could also be modified to fit a middle school math classroom, as suggested below:

This unit could be used in a variety of grades, beginning with grade 5.  As soon as students begin learning about area, they could apply their learning to design a sign.  A teacher may students in the designs of their signs by limiting the design to be constructed from specific shapes.  The teacher may wish to cut out these shapes so that students may assemble their signs using the given shapes.