Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Fun Cross Curricular Lessons to End the Year
As the school days dwindle, so does the attention span of most of my students. They are looking outside and thinking about the warm summer vacation days ahead of them and planning what to do. When their attention is waning, it is the perfect time to excite and bring them back to the classroom with some unexpected cross-curricular lessons.
Even though I teach art, I brought some science into the classroom first with my elementary students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade. Then, seeing how enamored they were by the lesson I decided to try them with my high school students who also enjoyed it greatly. Here are the lessons I used and some other suggestions of unique cross curricular lessons you can use in your classroom.
This color mixing explosion lesson is a great fun and makes students very shocked and amazed at what happens. You pour a thin layer of milk in a dish and put drops of four food coloring colors around a circle in the dish. Then, dip a Q-tip into some dish soap and put it in the middle of the colors. They appear to explode away from the center of the dish and begin swirling around.
With my class I discussed the types of colors we were using (which were the primary colors) and what types of colors the colors might make as they mixed together. The science behind it is that the soap breaks away from the fat in the milk which causes the colors to swirl.
Another thing we did in class is to make oobleck. We made oobleck as a texture experiment since it is something that can have two different textures. It can be easily made with only cornstarch and water. When it is sitting in a bowl it is firm and rubber-like. When it is picked up it seems like liquid and drips from your fingers. It was amazing for students to see something that appeared as one texture but could easily become another.
We also made silly putty during our texture experiments. We chose the option to make it with glue and liquid starch, which I found very cheaply at my local grocery store. Students had a lot of fun making the glue change texture with the starch and enjoyed playing with it. We kept it in plastic bins so they could take it home at the end of our experimenting.
Lastly, I created my own experiment and had my students invent their own colors. First we talked about how colors could be invented and I used art companies as examples of people that 'invented' new colors each year. Each student received a paint tray with the primary colors, white, and black to create their own colors. They really enjoyed mixing up paint and swirling it around on their tray while trying to create something unique. When they found a color they deemed as inventive, they painted the name of their color with their paint on their paper.
I hope you enjoyed these fun ways to bring some excitement into your classroom these last few weeks. If you enjoy these ideas, find out even more unique art and science craft lessons on my Pinterest board.