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Assembly line simulation

We have just finished up our WWI unit in 6th grade and are heading into the roaring 20s. I did a mini-lesson yesterday on how an assembly line helped our country with its efficiency. I had them do a little simulation of an assembly line-I’m talking real little, but it was FUN.

There were 10 people on the assembly line-the other half of the class watched and then we swapped. The first person on the line was given a sheet of paper with a black/white outline picture of a car on it.

#1-person hands the next person a car

#2-color left window yellow

#3-color right window yellow

#4-color left wheel green

#5-color right wheel green

#6-write a capital F

#7-write a capital O

#8-write a capital R

#9-write a capital D

#10-inspector looks at finished car and decides to either scrap it or keep it

šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

The first person in the line gave the next person a car every 15 seconds-then we decreased it to 10 seconds-then 5 seconds. Talk about getting backed up!

However, they realized that the more they did the better/faster they got. Specializing in a job. A big component of the idea behind an assembly line.

Prior to the simulation we took some notes and read a little about the cost difference in Henry Ford’s Model T after he began using an assembly line to mass produce the vehicle. $560 per car!!! What a savings-for him and the consumers.

After the simulation I showed them a video clip of the “candy assembly line” on an I LOVE LUCY show. HILARIOUS!!

What I would like to do next time somehow is have 1 group produce something as individuals while another group produces something in an assembly line and time both groups. I’ve seen where teachers have talked about doing this and the assembly line always outproduces the other group. However, I did not plan enough in advance to tackle this. šŸ™‚

It was a great lesson with a lot of laughs!

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