Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Square Sculpting

Many students demonstrate confusion when drawing angles in 2-D geometric designs. To reinforce their skill with drawing angles try using an easy, portable activity to "sculpt" squares and other suitable shapes.

Cut up skinny, coffee stirrers into about 3" lengths and add some tacky putty. Have the student "warm up" the putty by squishing it with their fingers, then form small balls by rolling the putty between their palms or on the table surface.

Have your own set of stirrers and putty and model, step by step, the way to make a square. If the student finds it to be easy, challenge their spatial and fine motor skills by asking them to make a cube. If necessary, make your own cube along with them, but see if they can imitate you without having to follow you step by step.

Another activity variation is to make a square, as described above, then have the students trace around its exterior to draw a square on their paper. Next, have them start a new square on their paper by putting a dot outside the four corners of their 3-D square, remove it from the paper, then connect the dots on their paper. Follow this up by seeing if they can draw a square freehand with better skill than they demonstrated prior to their session with the stirrers and putty.

When the student brings back their finished cube to the classroom their peers will be in awe.

No comments: