Saturday, May 5, 2018

My 6 Fav Maker Activities

As a Technology Specialist and Maker Lab Teacher, we get to have a lot of fun in my K-5 classrooms.  Check out this clickable infographic (hover above the fingers to see the linked hot spots) and the blurbs below to see what some of my personal favorites are through the years! The links on the infographic will take you directly to websites of instructions, images, lesson plans, or examples.

Squishy Circuits
Following up our Valentine's Day Circuit Card Creations, we had loads of fun with some conductive and insulating dough. In addition to the clickable link above, this video and these instructions were helpful. We did the activity with 2nd and 3rd graders, but any elementary students would love it!

Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season
My 4th & 5th Grade elective class had fun with this hurricane-inspired STEAM activity--timely this fall when the hurricane reports cropped up. The "Emoji Guys" and ramping up the box fan to create different categories of major win added to the elements of excitement.

Lego Landmarks
For several years now I've tied the work to Lego sculpturist Nathan Sawaya into a Maker activity with my Kindergartners. I show them a plethora of natural landmarks and iconic structures. From there, they pick one to build using Legos and take several pictures along the way using iPads to detail their design process. From there, we revisit the activity another day where they each insert their pictures in order in the Timeline app on their individual iPad so each student can show off his/her design process chronologically. This activity, of course, could work for kids at any age.

Throughout the years, I've done a variety of artbot activities, but for my Kindergarteners this year, it was "Dollar Store electric toothbrushes and pool noodles for the win!" This simple and straightforward example was perfect for the age group and brought about delighted glee from all!

Henry "Box" Brown
Henry "Box" Brown was an enslaved man during the Civil War era who crated himself up and mailed himself to Northern freedom with the help of some abolitionists. As a natural extension within the 5th Grade Civil War Unit, after reading the picture book Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, students got into a large cardboard box to see what that would feel like. Then, using some measurement and ratios (based on both 3 inch Playmobil guys and the 6 foot height of an average adult man), kids were challenged to build a box their guy would fit in using craft sticks, tape, and heavy construction paper.

Zip Line Carrier
Everyone loves the concept of a zip line, especially when you are the one building it. Putting my Playmobil guys to use again (rather than building a Lego Creature), this STEAM activity ties really well with our 2nd graders' Business unit and their study of money. My favorite part of this too is the fact that students have to manage their budget by buying only the supplies they can afford.

For more great hands-on STEM/STEAM activities, be sure to check out the following:

Clicakable Infographic created using &

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