Parts & Purposes

Why are things designed the way they are? Become your very own design detective and investigate the overlooked clues of our designed world.

30 min

Outcome(s): At the end of this lesson, learners will come to see an everyday object as designed and be able to communicate the parts and purposes that allow it to serve a function.


  • Parts & Purposes Slidedeck
  • Parts & Purposes Journal Prompt
  • Student Journals
  • Pencil for each participant

1. Launch

Objective: After watching a video on the function and design of a doorknob, the learners will engage in discussion on designed objects and why we should learn to look closely at what makes an item function.

2. Explore

Objectives: The learners will look closely at a pencil, describe its purpose, and then sketch it while labeling its parts, purposes of each part, and how the parts work together to perform a function. The learners will share their sketches and labels with a classmate.

3. Summarize

Objective: Learners will engage in whole class discussion on the parts and purposes that allow the pencil to function and what it means to have design awareness.