I Made It! a Teacher's Guide.

Introduction: I Made It! a Teacher's Guide.

About: Matthew was previously a STEAM integrator with a private K-8 school. He loves taking things apart to see how they work, and will sometimes put those things back together. Much of his time is spent working with…

Did you know students (13 and over) can submit assignments on Instructables without publishing a full instructable?

In fact, if you're looking for a fun way to get students started with procedural writing, our I Made It feature provides a great introduction!

In the interest of making sure your students and our community have a great experience here, we'd like to teach you about I Made Its and share some tips and tricks for using them.

Step 1: What Is an I Made It?

If you scroll to the bottom of any Instructable you’ll see an orange “I Made It” button just below the last step.

An I Made It is a special type of comment that allows you to share how you made an instructable.

At a minimum, it requires a small amount of text and one attached image. You can also upload other file types, like PDFs, 3D models, videos, and a whole lot more.

Want to see what an I Made It looks like? Scroll down past the last step on this instructable to see all the different versions of slime posted as I Made Its.

Step 2: Why Not Have Students Post an Instructable?

In most cases, having students post an I Made It is preferable to having them post a whole instructable.

An I Made It:

  • Provides a lower barrier to community participation.
  • Introduces students to examples of good project documentation.
  • Gives students agency to share how they want.
  • Prevents a flood of similar instructables from being viewed as spam by our community.
  • Allows students to interact positively with other community members. (Folks love to hear about it when their instructables get made by others!)

An instructable would be the correct option when one or more students are creating unique, one-off projects that will require multiple steps to document fully.

Step 3: Finding a Project

Before assigning students an I Made It, you will need to find an instructable to have them build. Here are a few ways to find projects:

Can’t find what you’re looking for or need something more specific for your students? Post your own instructable!

You can find resources for creating your own instructable here. By creating your own project you can:

  • Align directions to your curriculum.
  • Receive notifications when students post I Made Its and comments.
  • Give students additional in-step tasks.

Step 4: Assigning an I Made It

Once you’ve found an instructable you want to assign to your students, send them a link to the instructable and ask them to submit an I Made It.

Since an I Made It can have multiple images and/or files and has plenty of room for a written comment, ask students to include anything that helps reinforce your learning goals, such as:

  • In-process build photos.
  • A spreadsheet showing distances their airplane flew, and the overall average.
  • A 3D model (.stl or link) showing how they personalized the project.
  • A video of their chemical reaction in action.

Click here for more information about which file types are allowed on Instructables.

You can also provide students more agency in choosing an instructable by:

  • Asking them to find 1-3 projects that interest them and could be built in 30-60 minutes. Once they've submitted them, pick one for them to build.
  • Creating a collection of projects that map to materials and tools available to your students. Send the collection to your students and ask them to pick any project that interests them to build (here is an example collection to get you started).

Step 5: Turning in an I Made It

Once students have finished following the instructable to build their project, they can submit their I Made It.

Students will need to follow the below steps to submit an I Made It. Find downloadable pdf instructions attached to this step.

1: Click the “I Made It” button at the bottom of the instructable. A comment box will appear.

2: Enter some text about what they made, how they made it, etc. - whatever you ask them to include.

3: Upload an image. (And anything else that was requested! Remind students they can also attach other file types.)

4: Click the “Post” button.

That’s it! They're done.

Step 6: Assignment Follow-Up

Here are some additional questions to get students talking about making and documenting their projects:

  • Was the project as simple/hard as they had expected when they first read through it?
  • Are there any parts of the original instructable they would improve?
  • What are important things to consider when writing a tutorial that others will follow?
  • Was there too much or too little information? Why?

Step 7: Next Steps and Inspiration

There are a lot of great instructables that make use of the I Made It function!

This collection showcases quite a few projects that already have I Made Its which could be assigned in class. The two examples below were posted by teachers for their class:

  • In the intro to DIY Ball Pulley Game, the teacher tasks his students with a math problem in addition to building the project and submitting an I Made It.
  • The instructor who posted the Pinhole Camera project laid out very clear expectations and guidelines on what to build before asking students to post an I Made It in the final step.

If you create an instructable to share with your class, please post an I Made It below with a screenshot of the instructable and a link for other teachers to use as inspiration for their own classes.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!

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