Friday, February 27, 2015

Packaging Crayons: Assembly Line vs. No Division of Labor

Help students understand the efficiency of an assembly line by having them package crayons! In this activity half of the class is part of an assembly line and the other half has no division of labor.

Assembly Line Instructions:
Separate crayons by color into different bins.
Lay the bins out in a line.
Put a package of Ziploc bags at one end of the line.
Put an empty bin on the other end of the line (used to "ship" crayons out to consumers).
Students sit in a line, pass the baggie down the line and add 1 crayon.
The last person zips up the bag and puts it in the bin to send off!

No Division of Labor:
Set out crayons in separate bins (separated by color exactly like the assembly line).
Put the bin for "shipping" crayons near the line.
Give each child 1 Ziploc bag to start out with.
Give each child a special ticket.
Ticket has their name on and the order in which they have to collect crayons in their bag.
Students work independently collecting crayons.
Make sure that you make out tickets so kids have to go to the same color crayon bin at the same time to provide them with a challenge!
Once students collect their crayons, they zip their bag and put it in the bin.
Then they have to grab another bag and follow the list of colors on their ticket again!

Have students package crayons for 2-3 minutes. Who will finish first?! When time is up check their crayon bags. Does each bag have 1 of each color crayon? If not the bag cannot be counted.

Students discover that they can package more crayons by making an assembly line.
Have kids talk about what way they found to be easier: assembly line or no division of labor.

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