Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Ministry of Education.
Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe; e kore tō tātou waka e ū ki uta

"Life Jackets", Junior Journal, level 2, March 2017

08 March 2017

Title and photo of a boy in a kayak wearing a life jacket.

This report outlines the history of life jacket development and explains how life jackets help keep people safe.

Read this story to learn about the history of life jackets and the materials that they have been made of over time.

You can find a PDF of the text, the teacher support materials, and the audio version on Literacy Online: "Life Jackets", Junior Journal, level 2, 2017

Another useful resource

Discussion questions

Discussion questions could include:

  • What are the names of the materials that have been used in the different types of life jackets that have been invented over time?
  • What are the performance properties of materials? This refers to such things as thermal and electrical conductivity, water resistance, texture, flexibility, colour, and so on.
  • How are the performance properties of these materials used in other products? What other technological products are these materials used for? For example, synthetic foam is lightweight, dense, firm, durable, and provides cushioning when used to package products to prevent damage in transport.
  • Describe how the materials have been manipulated to create the life jacket. Manipulating materials refers to "working" existing materials in ways that do not change their properties – that is do not alter their composition and structure - for example: cutting, molding, bending, jointing, gluing, painting.
  • Explore some other technological products (see the life jacket design competition video clip at the link above for new ideas about life jacket designs) and describe the relationship between the materials selected and their performance properties.
  • What are the physical attributes (what does it look like) and the functional attributes (what does it do) of the award winning life jacket designs?
  • What is the relationship between the physical and functional attributes in your chosen design. For example, "the jacket has a pocket to hold a drink bottle."

Indicators of progression for discussion starters

Component Indicator Level
Technological products
  • describe the performance properties of a range of materials and use these to suggest things the materials could be used for
  • describe feasible ways of manipulating a range of materials
  • suggest why the materials used in particular technological products were selected
Characteristics of technological outcomes
  • identify the physical attributes of technological outcomes
  • identify the functional attributes of technological outcomes
Characteristics of technological outcomes
  • identify a technological product and describe relationships between the physical and functional attributes

Return to top ^