Subject
Area

Engineering and Technology 
Age
or Grade

6th Grade 
Estimated
Length

45 Minutes 
Prerequisite
knowledge/skills

 Intuition
 Basic knowledge of what manufacturing is
 Ability to solve word problems

Description of New
Content

This activity is meant to be used as an ice breaker for a full on manufacturing
unit. The lesson is supposed to give the students an overall view of what
happens in a manufacturing process.
The students will learn almost every aspect related to manufacturing through
3 activities.

Goals

 The students will understand the difference between mass production
and custom manufacturing.
 The students will have a basic understanding on how items go from
a raw material to a manufactured finished product.
 The students will have an understanding of the business side of manufacturing.

Materials
Needed

 Products that have been mass produced ( pencils, candy, compact discs,
etc.)
 Products that are custom manufactured (keys, keychains, pictures of
houses, pictures of bridges, etc.)
 Bags to hold products
 Lamenated cards that each represent a step in the manufascturing process
of a product (we used Hersheys kisses as our product)
 each card has a picture of the process and the name of the process
 Worksheets

Procedure

Opener
To open the lesson, the teacher passes out the materials (products,
lamenated cards, and the worksheets). He/She then will explain the directions
for each of the activities. The students are then broken up into groups
of three or four. Since the activity is inquiry based, the students
will then work through the activity in their groups. The teacher will
move through out the class to make sure the students are understanding
the material.
Development
Activity 1: In the first activity, the students will take the mass produced
and the custom manufactured items out of the bag. The groups will break
the items into two groups, mass produced items and custom manufactured
items. The students will then write the products into the correct column
on the worksheet (mass produced items go in the mass produced column
and the custom manufactured items go in the custom manufactured column).
Activity 2: In the second activity, the students will
take the lamenated cards out of the bag. Each lamenated card will represent
a process step for manufacturing a Hersheys Kiss. The objective of this
activity is for the students to put the process in sequential order
using the cards. The students will move the cards around until they
feel that they have the right process order. Finally the students will
write the correct order on the worksheet.
Activity 3: The last activity has the groups work on a simple
word problem. This word problem will ask the students a question based
on the business side of manufacturing. The students will work the problem
out, then write the answer on the work sheet.
Closure
The closure of the activity is very important. You have to make
sure the students leave with a good grip on how products are manufactured.
In order to do this, the teacher should take the final 10 minutes to go
over the answers to each activity with the whole class. This way all the
students will know the correct answers to each activity.

Evaluation

As students work through the 3 activities, they have to fill
out a worksheet which will be graded after the activity is over. 
Extensions

The extension is a 2 week unit in which the students will
manufacture keychains using the classroom milling machine. This unit will
give the students an insight into how a real manufacturing plant works.

References 
Worksheets 