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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 3

Language and literacy intention(s)

We are learning to:

  • follow a design brief (OR Consider technology as a purposeful intervention through design)
  • write a design brief.

 We will:

  • use precise verbs
  • use appropriate modal verbs when writing our brief (will, must, could, should).
Opportunities for Key
competencies development

Participating and Contributing


Using Language, Symbols and Texts                                                                                

Principles and values


Innovation, enquiry and curiosity 

Lesson 3 – Introduction to a design brief

Teacher explains that she/he is going to talk a little about a ‘brief.’  The teacher explains that this is a term we use in technology and design (the teacher elicits any prior knowledge from students). The teacher explains that a brief describes a desired outcome to meet a need or an opportunity. An example could be: If the school wanted to build a new adventure playground, the Principal and the Board of Trustee would have come up with a brief. Something that described what they wanted and the reason for it. The teacher explains that when we design and make something we usually have a need for it, or we are presented with an opportunity to create or change something. The teacher asks students to think of another situation when a brief would be required. The teacher writes responses on the whiteboard such as; the building of a community swimming pool; the design of a new art classroom.

The teacher needs to decide on a context within which the making of lanterns would be fit for purpose, e.g. exemplifying the school’s cultural diversity during International Languages Week.  

The teacher explains that we have a purpose for making lanterns and that the making of lanterns will be meeting a school or community need.

The teacher explains to the students that we need to construct a ‘design brief’ to guide our thinking and the way the lantern will develop from our original ideas to a finished product.

The teacher introduces the ‘brief’ writing through a writing scaffold (Appendix 7 –Technology Brief Scaffold).

The teacher explains that the brief might start this way (provide sentence scaffold).

We want to …. (verb) a lantern.

Brainstorm verbs which would be useful for writing the brief


Our lantern will …(verb) something… ((special/unique...) about our family or community.

Brainstorm verbs (highlights/shows/represents/reflects/conveys/communicates/tells us/indicates).

What are the opportunities or purpose ...

 e.g. to display in the school foyer

Students work in pairs/threes to compose a brief selecting from the choices noted.

Please note: Foundation ELLs use the brief scaffold to complete.

The teacher asks what ideas students have for a lantern design that meets their brief.

(Think/Pair/Share for motivation/creative ideas)

Critiquing the simple lantern

Return to the simple lantern constructed earlier.

Does our first lantern meet the design brief?

List the ways it does and does/not meet the brief using a simple t chart (Appendix 8 – T Chart).

Question: What else would be needed in a lantern to satisfy the brief?

What other aspects might need to be taken into consideration for constructing a lantern?

e.g. a lantern to represent something special about your family, school, or cultural community.

Teacher records in a brainstorm. 

Thinking about our learning:

The things I will consider for my own lantern design are…

The things I know about writing a design brief are …

Published on: 26 Jun 2018