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elementary lesson - robots


From: Geoffrey McClain (skygeoff_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Mar 16 2004 - 03:41:57 PST

Here's a fun project that my second graders have been having a lot of
success with. They are making robots. I gave them 5" x 7" pieces of
cardboard. I cut up all the pizza box lids that come into our school -
hence I have an unending cardboard supply. Plus they used the small wood
blocks, scraps, turned ends, knobs, etc. from Sax. I sent a letter home to
the parents and they sent in tons of small garage-type metals things such as
bolts, washers, switchplates, and lots of really cool, lightweight metal
pieces which I could not identify. I also put out pipe cleaners and pop top
tabs from soda cans.
Some of them made upright robots and some made their robots lying down flat
against the cardboard. All were mounted to the cardboard. They used white
glue and in some cases I used the glue gun if the white glue wasn't holding.
They painted all the wood pieces silver and then painted the boards a solid
color (not silver).
Finally they wrote an artist's statement about their robots and gave their
robots a name.
Some used the pipe cleaners for hair, some used them for antennas, arms,
They were amazingly imaginative. I think this was their favorite project so
far this year.
We looked at the work of Nam June Paik for inspiration.

Sky in NJ