The Most Magnificent Thing Part 2:

The Design Process




‘I recognize the magnificence inside of me.

I actively engage with my own creative process.’


In this second lesson built around Ashley Spire’s book The Most Magnificent Thing, children will engage with the designed process to build their own ‘magnificent thing’


The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires


A collection of recyclables (suggestions: toilet paper rolls, boxes of all sizes, plastic containers and lids)


Tape or glue


Other materials for art/design (suggestions: buttons, strings, beads, magazine images, stickers, markers, paint)







Reread the The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires.

Unpack the design process the girl engaged in: plan, multiple construction attempts, learning from mistakes, final product

Using paper and crayons invite your child to draft a plan for constructing their most magnificent thing.

Help them identify a problem their ‘magnificent thing’ can solve (examples: constructing an organizer for a junk drawer). They should look at the materials available and draw a sketch of what they think their final product will look like.

Support your child in planning and writing out the construction steps they will need to take to make their ‘magnificent thing’ in the form of a sequential list.


              Invite your child to construct their ‘magnificent thing.’

             Resist the urge to help them with construction challenges. Allow them to experiment with construction techniques that you know might not work (for example: gluing two heavy boxes together). Instead let them fail and then ask them to investigate why their original thinking didn’t work and what other solutions they could try.

If they get frustrated, remind them of the girl in the story and the strategies they generated in the previous lesson.


            Remind them that their construction does not need to be perfect to be magnificent

Holistic Engagement

Practice math concepts by measuring the ‘magnificent thing’, discussing shape and geometry concepts related to constructions, and exploring the basic physics principals that were involved in the construction process.

Take photos as your child creates (especially of the failures!) so they can retell the story of their own perseverance in creating their ‘magnificent thing’.

If your child constructs their ‘magnificent thing’ with ease and no design challenges consider inviting them to repeat the design process and challenge themselves more.

Questions to Ask

What is a first draft?

How did your original plan change as you created your magnificent thing?

How does your magnificent thing solve a problem?

What was the most challenging part of constructing? How did you overcome the challenge?

Mindfulness Prompts

Take a deep breath before you begin. Visualize your construction process from beginning to end. Visualize how you will overcome challenges.