In this lesson, students will be introduced to the puzzle project, and the parameters of the project will be established. Design parameters will be discussed, and a handout of these parameters will be given to the students (see resources below). Students will then sketch their initial puzzle design on standard graph paper or isometric graph paper. (printable sheets are included in the resources below). To aid in the visualization of the individual puzzle pieces, unit blocks will be given each student. They will receive 1 x 1 x 1 unit blocks. 1 x 1 x 2 unit blocks. 1 x 1 x 3 unit blocks. The students can use these blocks to fabricate puzzle pieces, and determine how they will fit together. (a video to demonstrate this process in included in the resources below).
Note to the teacher: a link is provided below for a source for the wood strips to make these unit blocks. The unit blocks will be made from 1/4" x 1/4" balsa wood strips. These can then be cut into 1, 2, 3 unit lengths. You could also have a wood shop make these blocks for you.