What is Going on in Your Science Class? STEAM and Sculptures!

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So, y'all, I am just going to be honest.....
my fourth and fifth graders are doing two fabulous STEM challenges right now. I can't wait to show you all about them....

but my third graders....whew!
They are wearing me out. We have a very young crew of kids and they are the sweetest and well behaved (mostly), but they are also jumpy, antsy, talkative, and they would just really like to color all day.
So, after spending some time reading and thinking about it I decided to just go with the thirdies' strengths and interest and try a little STEAM.
The A stands for ART.

Here's the premise of this lesson: After looking at some famous sculptures and talking about their names, brainstorm some names for sculptures. Then each group must pick one of the names and sculpt what is inspired by the title.

Sounds really easy, right?

First, of all you need to go and Google "Famous Sculptures". Go ahead I will wait right here until you see what I mean. Type that in and then look at images.
What did you see?
NAKED statues.
Well, yes, it is funny. But I was making a powerpoint slide show to share with eight year old kids. Can you just imagine what they would have said about the statue of David and his little dangly parts?
So, I tried a new search using "Modern Famous Sculptures". Well, that worked and I found about ten photos I could share with the thirdies. Like this one:
Isn't this one amazing? It's called "Mustangs".
So, we looked at the photos and then came up with quite an interesting list of names we thought would be great for a new sculpture. See what you think:

The Flying Crocodile
Bird on a Flower
Heaven on Earth
The Ghost Monster
The Voice
A Habitat
The Flying Monkey
The Flying Lion
(After this one I banned any other title using the word flying)
The Princess
A Crown

Well, you get it. Some were really cool titles and some were just silly.
Now that we had titles I revealed what the sculpting materials would be.
Three strips of modeling clay and toothpicks.

Here's what I used:

Is that delicious or what? It is, trust me. When you open it you can hear singing. It's just that wonderful. Twenty four colors.

So, the kids broke out into groups, decided on the title they liked, and then gathered the three colors of clay they wanted.
Remember these are third graders.
Did they choose a sculpture title that would lend itself to the medium?
Did they choose colors that would match their sculpture?
Well, no.
But they still did a fantastic job. Really. I was completely in awe of what some of them did. Just look:
Bird on a Flower
The Ugly Butterfly (look at the cute caterpillar crawling on it!)

A Crown

Flying Lion

Flying Monkey

The Voice (it's a microphone)

Superpowers (it's a turtle in a superman cape)

Heaven on Earth (made by a little boy named Angel)

A Hotdog (yes, it's a dog made out of a hotdog)

Hungry Hippo

And I would not want you to think all were successful. Clearly these guys were really outside the box with "A Rainbow".

So, there is our STEAM Adventure. 
I have more planned for next week. But it involves paper and markers!

 Ready for more STEAM Projects?

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