January 21, 2024
Introduction to Tools: Scissors
Introduction to Tools: Scissors
Introduction to Tools: Scissors
🎓 Grade:
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📥 Includes:
Fluxspace Curriculum
Activity Summary
Curious about our 4D (Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver) model for technology and engineering design? Read about why we selected this framework and how it can be implemented in your classroom!
Learn about the 4D model

Activity Summary

Students will be introduced to the ideas of products and design using a pair of scissors as a case study.

Learning Objectives
  • Students will be able to identify the traits and characteristics of products.
  • Students will be able to explain the use/need for products.
  • Students will feel more confident in their ability to create.

NGSS Standards
  • K-2-ETS1-1
    A situation that people want to change or create can be approached as a problem to be solved through engineering.

  • K-2-ETS1-2
    The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s).
  • K-2-ETS1-2
    Develop a simple model based on evidence to represent a proposed object or tool.

  • 3.5.K-2.S
    Apply design concepts, principles, and processes through play and exploration.
  • 3.5.K-2.AA
    Demonstrate that creating can be done by anyone.
  • 3.5.K-2.C
    Explain ways that technology helps with everyday tasks.
  • 3.5.K-2.N
    Analyze how things work.
  • 3.5.K-2.B
    Analyze qualities of everyday products.


Word Of The Day


A tool is a device that helps people do a task.

  • Ask students identify the tools pictured in the slides. Show students in person examples if possible.

Previewing Activity

Show students scissors

  • What are these?
  • Are they a tool?
  • What do they do?
  • Why do we use them?

Materials & Prep
  • Cardboard
  • Brass brads

Prior to the lesson, cut the cardboard into two 8” x 1” sheets per student. One end will be a “blade” and the other will be a handle. Create a small hole about 2 thirds of the way up the handle to make a place for the pivot point. Distribute a brass brad, two 8” x 1” sheets to each student or group of students.


  • Strawbees Classroom Kit

Distribute two long straws, two shorts straws, two yellow connectors, and a blue connector to each student or group of students.


Students will be guided through a build of a pair of scissors using pre-cut cardboard and brass brads. See presentation for guidance.

Students will be guided through a build process for a pair of scissors using Strawbees. See presentation for guidance.


Students explain/write how life would be different without scissors.


  • What do you need in order to use scissors? (Right handed vs. left handed scissors + consider what if a student is missing a thumb)
  • How are scissors different from the pliers? What can cut paper that isn’t a pair of scissors? (Pliers look similar to scissors, but possess different properties and meet a different need)

  • K-2-ETS1-2
    Designs can be conveyed through sketches, drawings, or physical models. These representations are useful in communicating ideas for a problem’s solutions to other people.
  • K-2-ETS1-3
    Because there is always more than one possible solution to a problem, it is useful to compare and test designs.

  • 3.5.K-2.U
    Explain that design is a response to wants and needs.
  • 3.5.K-2.P
    Discuss that all designs have different characteristics that can be described.
  • 3.5.K-2.O
    Illustrate that there are different solutions to a design and that none are perfect.

Extension Activity

If applicable, students should extend the design of their scissors to accommodate a different population. Students will modify their existing design using additional Strawbees or paper additions in the case of the cardboard construction. See the slides for further information.

Further extension can take the form of a discussion revolving around the design specifications of a pair of scissors compared to those of pliers. Students should be alerted to the fact that pliers may look similar to scissors, but they have a very different functionality which makes them worse at cutting things but better at picking things up.

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