ITEEA The Elementary STEM Journal, Vol. 25, Issue 3
PublisherInternational Technology and Engineering Educators Association, Reston, VA
ReleasedMarch 1, 2021
The Elementary STEM Journal, Volume 25, Issue 3 - March, 2021

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Books to Briefs: Ready for the Road

Books to Briefs

book cover-250.jpgReady for the Road 
Erin Hinchey


Book Used:

Quintero, I. (2019). 
My papi has a motorcycle. 
Koklia. 40 pages. 
ISBN-13L 978-0525553410

Book image courtesy of

Grade Level: Grade 2

book synopsis

A girl named Daisy Ramona takes a ride around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle. On this ride, she reflects on her ever-changing community and the people she has grown to love.

lesson synopsis

After reading the book with the class, the teacher can discuss the pros of riding around one’s neighborhood as well as the safety procedures used while riding a motorcycle/bike. In a small group, the students will design and construct devices that can protect the head while riding a bike or motorcycle. Students will be able to receive feedback from peers, test their devices, and evaluate their results.

lesson goals

One main goal of this lesson is having students explore the engineering design process as well as how they can use it to design and construct a safety device. Students will also build on their skills for researching and team collaboration.

helmet-274160_1920-300.jpgstudent learning objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Generate several questions that will guide them in their research.
  • Apply the engineering design process through generating, constructing, and testing possible solutions to the problem.
  • Use appropriate tools to make accurate measurements and build solutions during the design process.
  • Conduct a group critique to give and receive productive feedback that can be used towards their design.
  • Make improvements to their solution using feedback and testing results.
  • Apply their knowledge of real-life experiences to the process of designing technologies.

standards assessed

Common Core State Standards (CCSSI, 2021):

English Language Arts:

  • CC.1.2.2.E 
    Use various text features and search tools to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
  • CC.1.4.2.W 
    Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • CC.1.5.2.A 
    Participate in collaborative conversations with peers and adults in small and larger groups.


  • CC.2.4 2.A.1 
    Measure and estimate lengths in standard units using appropriate tools.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013):

  • K-2-ETS1-1 
    Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy (ITEEA, 2020):

  • Standard 2: Core Concepts of Technology and Engineering 
    Benchmark: STEL-2E. Collaborate effectively as a member of a team.
  • Standard 3: Integration of Knowledge, Technologies, and Practices 
    Benchmark: STEL-3B. Draw connections between technology and human experiences.
  • Standard 7: Design in Technology and Engineering Education 
    Benchmark: STEL-7E. Illustrate that there are different solutions to a design and that none are perfect. 
    Benchmark: STEL-7G. Apply skills necessary for making in design.

bicycle-helmet-2452192_1920.jpgdesign brief


In the book, My Papi has a Motorcycle, you saw Daisy and her father using a helmet while riding the motorcycle. It is important that your riding gear is durable and comfortable. Wearing protective gear like a helmet while riding a bike is a practice that will protect the body from injuries in the event of an accident.


Design, construct, and test a device that can be used to protect the head while riding something like a bike or skateboard.

Criteria and constraints:

helmet-3371072_1920.jpgThe device must:

  • Be made from four types of materials or fewer.
  • Be comfortable to wear.
  • Be able to stay on the head when the head is tilted in all directions.
  • Maintain structure when dropped on the floor from a height of six feet.


  • Various Recyclable Materials (bottles, toilet paper rolls, tissue boxes, etc.)
  • Cardboard
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Tissue paper
  • String
  • Paper cups
  • Velcro
  • Masking tape


  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Craft glue
  • Rulers
  • Measuring tape
  • Computers or tablets (for researching)


  1. After reading the book, My Papi has a Motorcycle, discuss the safety precautions that Daisy and her father took while on their ride.
  2. Conduct a "thumbs-up/thumbs-down" to see how many students are familiar with helmets or have used a helmet in the past. Then, have the class do a "chalkboard splash" using the focus question: “What materials are used to make a helmet that you could buy in a store?” If possible, have 1-2 helmets available for students to observe closely.
  3. Before groups are formed, have the students generate 2-3 questions about helmets that they can then use to guide their research.
  4. After this individual activity, form groups of 2-3 and distribute the design brief and design packet. Explain the resources available and how to use them to the students’ advantage. The teacher should emphasize the criteria and constraints that their device must fit into as well as the difference between materials and tools.
  5. Students will then begin researching. This is when they will utilize the questions they generated. Students should have access to researching tools such as computers, tablets, and books to help them find answers to as many of their questions as possible.
  6. Each group will brainstorm ideas for its device and begin constructing. Demonstrate how to measure head size using a tape measure. Have students practice taking measurements of their group members.
  7. In the early stage of constructing, have each group present its idea in front of the class to get peer feedback that they could use to make improvements to their design. If necessary, explain what good feedback could look like prior to this activity.
  8. Student groups will then complete their constructions and test their devices by having a group member wear the device for a period of 20 minutes and by dropping the device from a height of six feet to test its structural strength.
  9. Give students time to evaluate their devices and reflect on this experience. This section of the design packet should be completed individually.

DesignBriefPacket_ReadyForTheRoad_FINAL-pg.1-300-sm.jpgsupport materials

Design Brief and Design Packet:

Read aloud at


Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). (2021). Common core state standards.

International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA). (2020). Standards for technological and engineering literacy: The role of technology and engineering in STEM education. Reston, VA: Author.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Lead States. (2013). Next generation science standards: For states, by states. The National Academies Press.

Quintero, I. (2019). My papi has a motorcycle. Koklia. ISBN-13L 978-0525553410.


Erin Hinchey is an undergraduate senior at Millersville University. She is a candidate to become a certified PreK-4 teacher in Pennsylvania with an endorsement in Integrative STEM Education. Erin has been working with children ages 5-12 for three years. She can be contacted at or at