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The Do-Nothing Machine: Get glue, tape, staplers, and string to put together do-nothing machines. Collect boxes, crepe paper streamers, bottle caps, screws, bolts, craft sticks, old glue and marker lids, washers, wires, glitter, and anything else that you have left from other activities. Place all the materials in a basket. Each child makes her own do-nothing machine with help from the poem below.

The Do-Nothing Machine
By Sharon MacDonald

The story begins-
No blueprints or plans-
A rhyming account
Of a child's two hands.

It's a story about John
The inventor of things
. Who made a machine
From wood, nails and strings.

He marked his machine
With letters galore.
He couldn't write words
Since he was just four.

With all kinds of tools,
John spent long hours,
Reworking, remaking
And adding tall towers.

When friends asked John,
"What does it do?"
"Nothing," he'd say
"I'm not even through."

The Do-Nothing Machine
John named it one day
After months of adding
And taking away.

The fun was in building,
Not getting through.
It was not important
What it could do.

So gather together
The best you can find.
Make a Do-Nothing Machine
From ideas in your mind.

Note 1: I refer to this poem again in the Interactive Charts section as well as the Block Center section of this Web.

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