Grade 1

Grade: One

Topic: Understanding structures and mechanisms

Design challenge:

Teachers and students work collaboratively to identify an environmental challenge regarding the use of plastic bottles. The group will then collaborate on a solution by suggesting ways to make a useful structure from plastic bottles. From there the teacher will narrow down the choices to the type and number suited the group's capabilities. In this case the focus will be on a plastic bottle pencil case.

OCTE 2012 – Elementary Conference Workshops

Sample plastic bottle pencil case


  • CSA approved safety glasses/goggles, one pair per person (parent volunteers included),
  • a first aid kit (please see your Board's Health and Safety Regulations if one is being purchased for your classroom),
  • scissors, minimum one pair for every 2 projects (students may supply their own);
  • ADULTS ONLY - an X-Acto style knife or pointed scissors to start the holes (keep the bottles capped when completing this action).


  • two clear plastic bottles that are identical and between 500ml to 750ml in size,
  • 24" - 30" (60 cm - 75 cm) of wide masking, duct tape, or packing tape per project,
  • 18" (45 cm) of thin fabric elastic.