STRUCTURES – Balance, Colour, Shape

Students glue together a variety of small painted boxes which vary in shape and size to create a structure of a building.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Kindergarten to Grade 3

Subject

Language Arts
Mathematics
Science
Social Studies
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

balance legend sculpture stack structure tower

Materials

Paint Brushes White Glue Masking Tape Scissors Construction Paper – 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9” X 12”) Crayola Tempera Paint

Shop Crayola Products

Steps

STRUCTURES – Balance, Colour, Shape - Step One

Step One

  1. Choose 6 or more boxes, containers or tubes.
  2. Paint them using different colours.
STRUCTURES – Balance, Colour, Shape - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Paint all your boxes with different colours.
  2. Use tape to make your boxes stronger.
STRUCTURES – Balance, Colour, Shape - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Start placing your boxes together.
  2. Look carefully at what needs to be strengthened using tape.
  3. Try placing the boxes together in different ways so they are balanced.
STRUCTURES – Balance, Colour, Shape - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Use a variety of painting techniques to decorate your boxes.
STRUCTURES – Balance, Colour, Shape - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Once all your boxes, containers and tubes are painted place them together. Remember to make sure they are balanced so the structure can stand on its own. 
  2. When you like your structure use white glue to hold all the pieces together.
STRUCTURES – Balance, Colour, Shape - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Use construction paper to add details such as windows, doors or a flag to your structure.
  2. When it is finished, stand back and view it with fresh eyes. Decide if you need to add anything else.
  3. Imagine who the people are who live in this buidling.
    - What do they look like?
    - How many people live here?
    - What do they like to do?
    - What are their names?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Use cardboard containers to build a balanced structure of a building;
  2. Use a variety of painting techniques to add contrast to the structure; 
  3. Demonstrate technical accomplishments and creativity; and
  4. Support their ideas with evidence found in works.

Extensions

Have students design, build, and test a structure for a specific purpose. When it is complete ask them to answer the following questions: 

  1. What is the purpose of your structure?
  2. What materials did you use?
  3. Why did you choose those materials?
  4. How did you attach the pieces of your structure?
  5. What will happen to your structure when you no longer want it?

Prepare

  1. Prior to the lesson collect a variety of small cardboard boxes and containers enough for each student to have minimum of 6 boxes.
  2. Provide a large plastic sheet or newsprint to put under each structure.
  3. Gather and make available books about building and structures, such as Build, Dogs, Build: A Tall Tail, by James Horvath, Building a House, by Byron Barton and A House is a House for Me, by Mary Ann Hoberman and Roxaboxen by Sallie Stephen.

Introduction

  1. Read Aloud a book such as A House is a House for Me, by Mary Ann Hoberman.
  2. Make a list of the different buildings in the school neighbourhood.
  3. Make a list of the components of a house or any building.
  4. Create a simple diagram of the outlines of the various types of buildings.
  5. List the common components and make a picture legend of these components.
  6. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Use cardboard containers to build a balanced structure of a building.
  2. Use a variety of painting techniques to add contrast to the structure.
  3. Demonstrate technical accomplishments and creativity.
  4. Support your ideas with evidence found in works.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    - structure is something someone could live in
    - careful gluing
    - unique textures
    - structure is in good condition
    - contrasting colours
    - structure can stand alone
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Do a Read Aloud using a book such as Roxaboxen, by Sally Stephens. This book is about children who create an imaginary village using rocks (ROX) and boxes (BOXEN).
  2. Have children arrange their structures in the middle of the classroom as if they are part of a village. 
  3. Discuss the structures using words to explain size, colour and variety.
  4. Ask 'The 5 W's - Who, What, Why, When and Where' questions such as:
    - What would be a good name for this village?
    - Who do you think lives in this village? etc.
  5. Begin a group chart story with, In the village of . . .
     

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss their structure – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – Structure_tracking.pdf) 
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – Structure_self-assessment.pdf)