5th Graders’ Kaleidocycles of the Bill of Rights
April 13, 2017
They did it! This group of fifth grades did this hand-lettering kaleidocycle class project! I described the details of this project a few posts back so check out that post for more details. Here’s the general gist: After introducing the project, which is a 3D paper construction with rotating faces that will be graced with references to the Bill of Rights, students were given pages of letter fonts to choose from.
Using the windows of the library as light boxes, students traced out letters to created one phrase each that described one of the first ten constitutional amendments, aka The Bill of Rights.
Every single student was highly engaged. Really.
Within two class sessions the students produced something that I could take home and scan into my computer . I won’t lie..scanning and cleaning up their work took time. Above you can compare what they gave me, on the left, to what I ended up with on the right. Some pages required much more work than others. The middle example above was so easy to work with that next time I will encourage students to just give me outlines. The most time-consuming letters to work with were those that were colored in and touching other letters. I moved things around a bit, like in the top example you can see I centered the word “OF.”
Students made score lines so that the paper would fold easily and accurately. Scoring is generally done with bone folders but we used glitter pens to score the lines. They worked great, and kids were excited to be using the gel pens.
Then came the folding and gluing. I didn’t take many pictures of this process as I was, like, really really occupied helping move this process along.
This project turned out so well. Not everyone had a chance to finish up and decorate, but the wonderful school librarian will be able to help with the few than still need finishing.
Students enjoyed individualizing their own kaleidocycles.
I tried to get them to use completely different color schemes on each face, so that the differences between the four rotation of faces were dramatic. Students didn’t much listen to my suggestions.
Here’s one of their kaleidocycles in action:
I consider this project a great success. I got to talk to the students about design, about hand lettering, and they got to work with some cool geometry. I’d even go so far as to say that they are also much more familiar with the Bill of Rights , as they were constantly asking each other, which one do you have, which one is yours, and talking about their own. I have to say that at first the students were confused about what I was asking them to do, after which the librarian told me that doing a group project was pretty much out of their experience, so the concept was hard to grasp at first.
One thing that made this possible was that this was a small class, just 12 students. I often work with 60 to 70 students in a grade level: I wouldn’t do this project with a big group. OH, but it was so delightful doing this with a small group.
Do I get to pick a favorite project of my teaching season? Yes? This is it.