Fun Hands On Projects

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by my_teachers_fun, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. my_teachers_fun

    my_teachers_fun New Member

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    Jul 13, 2007

    Ok, I am a really "hands on project" kind of teacher and I would like to connect with other teachers to exchange project ideas. For example

    In Social Studies we always study landforms. To teach my students about landforms, I give them a piece of cardboard. They draw an outline of the United States on the cardboard. Then, I give them the ingredients to make dough. Once they make the dough, they fill in the outline of the USA. This creates a 3D diagram for them to work with. Before the dough dries, they must make the mountains, canyons, deserts and other landforms. They need to use a map to figure out where all of the popular landforms go. They then stick toothpicks in the landforms so that they will be able to label them later. Once the dough dries, they paint the USA. The rest of the cardboard is considered the ocean so we just paint it blue. Then we tape pieces of paper with the name of the landform onto the toothpicks for labels.

    This was messy and took about a week, but my students REALLY enjoyed it. :)

    Any other fun ideas that I can use?
     
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  3. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    Jul 13, 2007

    How do you make your dough?
     
  4. my_teachers_fun

    my_teachers_fun New Member

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    Jul 13, 2007

    I use flour, water, and salt. The correct amounts I will have to find for you. I usually just mix the three products toegther until it feels doughy. I also give the students a ziplock bag to mix the ingredients in. I think it is 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of salt but I will double check.
     
  5. nancyb

    nancyb Companion

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    Jul 13, 2007

    Thanks for this neat idea-I''ll be doing it with my 2nd graders soon!
     
  6. kelbel7583

    kelbel7583 Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2007

    Are you looking just for social studies or cross- curriculum.

    In SS we make sod houses in groups.
    Students build a 3-D base out of balls of clay and THICK popsicle sticks on a piece of cardboard. Then, they place cotton balls in a mixture of flour and water to build the walls. The walls have to harden overnight.Next, they construct a roof out of taping together popsicle sticks. I take the class outside and spray paint the houses brown. While students are waiting on paint, they collect earth materials to glue to the house. (Sticks, stones, dirt..) They LOVE this project. It takes about 4 days to complete.

    Another ELA activity that could be adapted is my characterization project. Students analyze the character traits and complete graphic organizers on the main characters within our novel. I then place students in groups and assign them a character. The objective is that students have to create a life-sized character that exhibit the character traits. One student lays on a butcher paper as students trace an outline of their body. They cut it out and use this for the character. Then, they plan how they can illustrate the traits and the materials they need. I have tons of paint, fabric, feathers, beads, buttons, yarn... and students bring in supplies from home too. They have 2 days in class to decorate the character. Then, the groups writes about how their illustrations displays each trait.
    - Perhaps you could do this for a historic figure?
     
  7. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jul 13, 2007

    Edible Rocks.
    Igneous rocks---melt chocolate chips in microwave, (melted rock or magma) have a piece of wax paper on each desk and put a spoonful of melted chocolate on each wax paper for students to watch it cool and harden. *****Make Gumdrop Metamorphic rocks....Give each student 2 pieces of wax paper, give each student three different colored gum drops (cut into nine or ten pieces)---put the pieces of gum drops between the pieces of wax paper and have the students press the gumdrops together)remove the wax paper and discuss how heat and pressure make metamorphic rocks. Sedimentary Rocks...make and eat Rice Krispies. *****Make pet rocks Students bring a rock about the size of an egg. Use for experiments, do rocks sink or float. Be sure and have at least one rock that floats. Than make their rocks into Pet Rocks (teacher uses super glue ---to glue on two wiggly eyes.) Pet Rocks are their reading buddies and listen to students read. Students must read to their rock fifteen minutes each night to keep their rocks alive (we use this as part of our Book-It reading activity) (******Hard boiled egg cut in half with a red hot candy put in the center of the egg yolk = the different layers of the earth. Shell is the crust and is approximately 6-40 miles, the white represents the mantle and is approximately 1,800 miles, the yolk represents the outer core and is approximately 1,375 miles, the red hot is the very very HOT inner core and is approximately 1,750 miles. Read the book "The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth" this explains the layers of the earth and the composition of each. These are not my ideas they have been gathered here and there and put into my collection of ideas and activities.
     
  8. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jul 13, 2007

    ALKA SELTZER ROCKETS. (you can get empty film canisters from ---one-hour photo ---Wal-mart ---photo shops) This is an outside project. Fuji film canister – the kind where the lid fits inside the canister. The others don’t work.
    1. Optional: Make a cone and tape it to the top of the canister.
    2. Fill the film canister ½ full with warm water.
    3. Put in ¼ tablet of Alka Seltzer – no more
    4. Snap the lid tightly into the canister, turn it over on a hard surface and stand back. The lid is on the hard surface. The sodium bicarbonate will make the canister launch into the air. If you vary the temperature of
    5. the water, your rocket will shoot to different heights. The warmer the water, the higher it will go.
     
  9. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jul 13, 2007

    • Order butterfly larvae and raise them in your
    classroom. They will go from larvae to chrysalides and turn
    into butterflies in approximately 3 weeks. You will receive the caterpillars in the mail. The caterpillars are contained in a plastic jar with their green food. The caterpillars are tiny and grow. They will crawl to the top of th jar, attach themselves to the paper disc on the lid and spin their chrysalis. Then you take off the paper disc and tape it to the cardboard butterfly house that comes with the kit. Wait for the butterflies to emerge. You can order painted lady butterfly larvae . from www.insectlore.com or call 1-800-LIVE BUG

    Watch fruit flies multiply. Put a piece of overripe banana in a glass gallon jar or plastic pop bottle and watch (entire life cycle of fruit flies complete in two weeks ---eggs, larvae, pupae, and fruit fly) When you see 3 or 4 flies cover the opening with a paper towel use a rubber band to make the paper towel tight. Than put a spider in the jar and watch him eat the fruit flies.
     
  10. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jul 13, 2007

    GERMS--- sneeze and cough and about spreading germs. (Of course this is done in August when it's still hot!) I hold a misting bottle in my hand (they think I am taking care of the critters or plants) and start talking to them, suddenly I start sneezing and coughing. I squirt the misting bottle in the air as I do. I am walking around the room so I tag 'em all! I ask them what I should have done and of course they all yell "cover your mouth". So I "sneeze" and "cough" using the bottle in my hand. My hand gets soaking wet. I then walk around the room shaking hands, touching shoulders, pencils, desks, etc. They realize how far my "germs" spread. It leads to a really good discussion on how to prevent spreading germs.
    GERMS-----Have the kids divide into three equal groups. Have one kid from each group come up and spray their hand with water then dip it into a bag of glitter. Have each of the three volunteers dip in three different colors. Then they go back to their group and shake hands with everyone in their group. Once you have done that have the kids inspect their own hands for "germs". Then coat the volunteers hand again and let all of the kids shake with kids from the other groups. You could give a limit of shaking with 7 kids or something. When they are done they should have a fairly good dose of "germs" on their hand. You can then go over proper hand washing techniques while they wash the "germs" away.
     

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