Grade 9

Design Thinking by via CC BY-NC-SA 3.0


Learning Behavior Rubric

Teachers will be focusing on the following Learning Behaviors for the Design Thinking cohort sessions:



All assignments must be posted to your Google+ Cohort Community page (see cohort list below).

ASSIGNMENT #1 – Mix Tape Assignment
Create a mixtape for another person at school.

Think about your song selection and what, exactly, you want to say to them through songs. Read this article if you want more ideas about building your mixtape.

1. Go to the DragonTape website, and create an account using your school email address.

2. Create a mixtape of five songs.

3. Share the mix to your Design Thinking Cohort Google+ Community page.


ASSIGNMENT #2 – Guest Speaker – Mrs. Qursha

Watch Mrs. Qursha’s presentation here.

After listening to guest speaker Mrs. Qursha, reflect on the questions below. Post your responses to your Google+ Community Cohort page.

1. How does Mrs. Qursha use empathy in her work?

2. How did you empathize with the children’s situation?

3. What are some ‘wicked problems’ that came up during the presentation?


ASSIGNMENT #3 – Zaatari Reflection Questions

  1. After watching Clouds Over Sidra, did you feel that you could empathize with the refugees at the Zaatari camp?
  2. Did watching the virtual reality video make you feel more connected to the story?
  3. What ‘wicked problems’ are the refugees facing in the Zaatari camp?
  4. What are some possible solutions to some of the ‘wicked problems’?


ASSIGNMENT #4 – Collage
Create a photo collage that is a visual representation of how you feel about one of the prompts below.

1. Your collage must have the following:
– At least 7 photographs
– All of the photos must be taken by you. You cannot use images from online
– All photos must be school appropriate.

2. Using Befunky, create a photo collage that demonstrates your thoughts or how you feel about one of the following:

-Exploring my world
-My school day
-Taking control of my life
-How I see myself in the future
3. Save the collage and post the image to your Google+ cohort community page.



  1. Write five interview questions before talking to your partner.
  2. Review their collage and think about the following questions:
    • What do you think the photos represent about the person?
    • What prompt do you think they chose?
    • Can you think of any needs the person may have?
  3. Pick a partner from your cohort to interview.
    • Ask open questions.
      • Simple answers like “yes” or “42” won’t tell you much.
      • “Tell me how you feel about English class” is better than “Do you like English class?”
    • Listen for understanding, not judgement
      • Your goal is empathy and understanding.
      • Give them time to talk before you comment or move on.
    • Follow up
      • Ask “Why” or ask them to “Tell me more about that” or just wait a moment for them to say more.
      • You don’t need to stay strictly to your pre-prepared questions.
  4. Interview your partner and take notes about what they say
    • This can be digitally or with pen and paper.
    • Write some quotes as well as summary/paraphrase notes
  5. Post to Google+ as a reply to your partner’s collage. Include:
    • Your questions and their answers (typed or a photo of your handwritten notes)
    • Answer this question: What is one need you think your partner has?


You will be conducting one ‘Why Interview’ and then complete a POV statement.  You will post a summary of the 5 Whys interview as well as the POV statement to your Cohort Google+.

This would be a great place you to use your Physics Lab ideas as a reference for this interview.  You can start the process with the question, “In what way are you most interested in redesigning the lab?”

“5 Whys” STEPS

  1. This one is pretty easy. Start by asking a pretty broad question about your Interview participant’s habits or behaviors then ask “why” to their response five times in a row.
  2. Remember that you’re not asking a horizontal question, (ie “Why else didn’t you get a good harvest this year?”) you’re actually going for depth (ie “Why weren’t you able to buy the fertilizer you needed?”).
  3. Write down what you hear, paying special attention to moments when it feels like you’ve moved a level deeper into understanding why the person does what she does.
  4. Keep in mind that you might not get to the core stuff until the fourth or fifth “Why.”

POV Statement

___(student name)___ thinks Amman needs a way to_________(verb)______because____________(Suprising Insight)______.

You will post a summary of the 5 Whys interview as well as the POV statement to your Cohort Google+.



ASSIGNMENT #6 – Peace With Lions

Peace with Lions by Richard Turere via TedTalk

Watch Richard Turere’s TedTalk and discuss the following questions as a cohort:

1. How did Richard empathize with the problem?

2. How did Richard define the problem?

3. How would you define Richard’s problem as a POV statement?






4. How many times do you think Richard went through the ‘Ideate’ process before he found a solution to his problem?

5. How did Richard’s perceptions of lions change?





You are a non-profit that is trying to raise awareness for a social issue (examples: bullying, poverty, human rights, refugees). You’ve decided to create t-shirts that will make people aware of the issue. In teams of 3, complete the following activity:

Download (PDF, 256KB)


  1. Ensure that you have posted all of the worksheet pages to your Google+ Cohort.
  2. Review the campaigns from other groups in your cohort.
  3. Leave feedback for the group in the comment box. Consider the following as you review the campaign:
    1. Was the t-shirt effective? Did it clearly identify the issue?
    2. How could the group improve the design of their t-shirt?
    3. Did the t-shirt grab your attention?
    4. Did the POV statement clearly identify the issue?


ASSIGNMENT #9 – Awareness Campaign Feedback


Last week, Tamer from Jobedu discussed how his company uses Design Thinking. One of the main points that he spoke about was that the design process never ends.

  • As a cohort, discuss Tamer’s presentation. What points stood out to you?


We’ve now come to the last step of the Design Thinking process: Test. During this stage, designers ‘test’ their creations and look for ways that it can be improved.

  1. With your teammates, present your Awareness Campaign to your cohort. Talk about each step of the design process and then show an example of your t-shirt.
  2. Ask for feedback from your cohort:
    1. Was the message clear?
    2. Was the t-shirt an effective way to present your message?
    3. How could things be improved?
    4. What would you do differently if you had to design the shirt again?
  3. Reflect on how you would improve/re-design one of your shirts using the information you got from the guest speaker and the feedback you received on Google+ or from your cohort.


As we approach semester 2, we will begin to transition to our Passion Projects. To get you thinking about a passion project, please do the following:

  1. Watch this video about passion projects created by high school students. As you watch, write down any projects that you find interesting or any ideas that come to you.
  2. Please fill out this survey. This isn’t a final commitment, it’s just information for us so we can plan ahead and have resources ready for your passion project. It’s important that you answer the questions honestly so that we can support you.