-- Small groups
A parade is a public march or procession honoring a certain occasion. There are
countless themes for parades, many of which have become celebrated traditions.
Paintings on cave walls depicted the earliest parades believed to be celebrations of
hunters arriving home. The first recorded use of a float was in Athens during a 6 th
Century parade in honor of the god Dionysus.
Floats have changed since then, especially concerning how they are powered. But
what if animals or modern inventions could not be used? We would have to use our
own power to move floats in parades.
As a class brainstorm ideas for new themes of parades, then vote for the class theme.
Have students draw their own float that will follow the theme determined by the
class. It also has to be powered by human energy, so have the students create and
draw a character that will power the float. Put the drawings in a showcase at school,
and have others guess the theme of the parade.
After the students have created the drawing of their own float and character, divide
the class into groups. Have them write a story together that involves all three
characters and their floats. They will take turns writing a portion of the story by
playing a game.
The materials for the game are: a single die for each team and note cards with
various words and phrases printed on them. The words and phrases could include
vocabulary words, and/or words pertaining to floats, parades and human energy. The
cards should be folded or turned upside-down so the players cannot see the words or
phrases that are written on them.
The procedure for the game is: Each student must contribute to the story by rolling
the die. If it is an even number, they must alter the plotline of the story. If it is an
odd number, they must pick a card and use the word or phrase in their part of the
story. Take turns until they feel the story is finished. Each group will read their story
to the class. The group with the most creative story wins.
Discuss the three types of human power; direct, indirect and stored. An example of
direct human power is a person using their hands and arms to turn the wheels on a
wheelchair, or to push someone else in a wheelchair. Indirect human power would be
a person using their feet and legs to turn pedals on a bicycle, which in turn moves the
wheels. Stored power is something that gains power as it is being held or pushed on
by a person, like a spring.
Then divide the class into three groups to recreate something that isn't human
powered into something that is. Have each group choose a machine that does not rely
on human power. They will then turn it into a human-powered machine, however the
machine must keep the same objective. For example, a lawn mower uses an engine
powered by gas. The students must create a device that will cut the grass, with a
human power supply. Encourage them to be as creative as possible in reinventing the
devices. Have them make a drawing showing how their human-powered machine
works and present it to the class.