-- larger groups
|--||crayons or markers|
Many people have the pre-conceived notion that a robot must look like a person
and perform tasks the same way a human would. While it is true that robots
substitute human effort, they may look and operate very differently from
humans. Technology and invention continue to produce new "robots" that help
people by performing tasks. Some people envision a future where humans will
have their own personal robot to assist them in almost unlimited ways.
Ask the students to brainstorm tasks they would like a robot to perform for
them. Have one student record the ideas on the chalkboard. Select a task and
ask the class to name all of the things a robot must do to adequately perform
that task. For example, a robot that would clean a room would need to be able to
discern clean clothes from dirty ones and trash from important papers. Repeat
this using two or three more tasks from the list.
Each student will imagine they have a robot that helps them do things and
something goes wrong or the robot does something unexpected. Have them
write a 1- to 2-page story about the situation. The story must be humorous, and
it must include one or more illustrations.
Have each student present their story to the rest of the class. First, divide the
class into pairs and have the students rehearse in front of each other. Encourage
students to try to be as funny as they can, using body movements, facial
expressions and voice inflections. Have a "laugh off," where the students vote
for the funniest presentation.
Create a collection of short stories by putting all of the essays in a binder. Have
the class create a design for the "book" cover. Be sure to include the
illustrations for the stories.
| 1. ||
Discuss the presentations of the stories to convey the elements of effective public speaking: enunciation, eye contact, etc.
| 2. ||
Discuss the process of writing humor: Did it come easily to the students? Or was the process of putting humorous thoughts into words difficult? Why?
| 3. ||
Review the physical properties of some robotic devices that currently exist.
Discuss why they look and function the way they do.
| 4. ||
Hold a discussion about some of the students' favorite comedy shows or
movies. Discuss what makes them funny: mannerisms of the characters,
actions, dialogue, etc.