Looking for a way to turn that unit on biography, historical figures or literary characters into a multi-sensory learning experience? Add some arts and crafts to the mix to let your students’ creativity shine. You can tailor these projects to your particular curriculum goals and adjust the craft’s level of difficulty based on the age of your students. Here are three great ideas to get you started:
Hero Hats: Grades K-2
Let your students represent the hero they learned about by designing an easy hero hat. All you need are a pile of magazines, scissors, glue sticks, construction paper and a stapler. To make the hat, cut two- to three-inch wide strips of construction paper to form the hat band and have students write the name of their hero in the middle of it. Using a full piece of construction paper, let your kids create collages of magazine photos that represent their hero’s strengths, interests or role in society. Create the collage the tall way on the paper, leaving a bare strip at the bottom for the hat band you made first. Once the collage photos are dry, glue or staple the hat band to the bottom of the collage with the writing in the center; then fit the band around the student’s head and staple. When finished, these will look a bit like colorful stovepipe hats.
Through the Eyes of _____ : Grades 3-5
For this project, your students will need a pair of oversized plastic novelty sunglasses, craft foam, scissors and tacky glue. Pop the dark lenses out of the glasses; then allow students to decorate the frames with craft foam cutouts that tell the story of the life of their famous person. Encourage your students to design their own symbols to represent character traits and accomplishments. You can also allow students to use markers, glitter and any other craft supplies to make their glasses special. Have students wear their glasses during a final celebration of all their hard work.
Triumphant Tri-oramas: Grades 6-8
Toss out those shoe boxes and have students make a tri-orama instead of an old-fashioned diorama to highlight important events in the life of a famous person. Just take a large, square piece of construction paper and draw an X connecting the opposite corners. Fold along each line and crease. Cut a slit along one of the lines from corner to center, then pull the cut ends to have them overlap into one triangle. Secure with a staple. The 3-D triangular box can be filled with paper cut-outs and figurines depicting the life of your students’ famous people, and four tri-oramas can be attached back-to-back for a full history in the round.