Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hand On, Not Hands Off!

Ann Marie Smith  Innovative Connections teaching blog Post Featuring Hands On ActivitiesGuest Post by: The Lesson Lady of One Less Headache  

Have you ever had a student in class that couldn’t keep his or her hands to themselves and wanted to touch everything all the time? What about the student who can’t sit still and fidgets during class? Hands on projects will help you meet the needs of these students and more.

I am a little biased being an art teacher, but hands on projects can be an important and great way to help both you and your students. Kinesthetic learners will love doing hands on projects in class and learn well. Hands on lessons are also great ways to have students reach higher levels of learning from the top levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. You can also teach problem solving skills and creative thinking through the use of hands on projects.

Here are some suggestions of ways to use hands-on projects in a variety of subjects.

Language Arts
·      Billboard or Ad Design – Have students create an ad or billboard for a book that they read. What would they show and why?
·      Mandala – Have students create a mandala with different levels about different aspects about the book, its time period, and culture.
·      Board Game – Have students design and play a board game based on terms or reading passages.
·      Ratios – Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing “The Vetruvian Man” is created out of ideal ratios and is called the Golden Ratio. Students can find the Golden Ratio in his work or trace their body and find their own ratio.
·      Binary Numbers – The South Korean flag is related to binary numbers. Have students create their own design or flag using their birthday binary numbers.
·      Origami – Have students create origami and ask questions such as how many folds were symmetrical or perpendicular. Unfold the origami when finished and see the patterns on the paper. Estimate or measure each angle the paper folds, determine if the paper is symmetrical each fold, use fractions when speaking about how to fold the paper.
·      Optical Illusions – Use optical illusions to see how they trick the eye.
·      Classification – Classify animals and varied life forms viewed in different paintings.
·      Prehistoric Era – View cave paintings and determine what this says about the people, animals, or social ideals of this time. Could also work for Social Studies.
Social Studies
·      Class or Small Group Mural – Particularly in Mexico many artists created mural about Mexico’s history. Students could view the mural and discuss how it relates to Mexico’s history and create a mural either as a class or in a small group on a large paper that describes the history of a selected time period.
·      Time Period Review – Show students a variety of works of art from time periods they have studied. Can they tell which art is from what time?
·      Values – View artwork from different time periods to tell what is valued during each time period. What does the art say about each time period?
Social Awareness & Team Building
  • Symbolic Portrait – Use a light and have students trace their profile. Inside the profile have them draw things that represent themselves or collage items that represent themselves. To add another dimension to this, have students do things that represent how others view them outside the profile. Giuseppe Arcimboldo does some unusual portraits like this.
·     Story Quilt – Create a class paper quilt like those of Faith Ringgold. Have each student tell a story on their paper quilt square. Attach them together to form a big class quilt that tells a story. You can also have students write a story to go with the image.

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