Thursday, February 18, 2016

Mad Scientist Creations for First Grade and Beyond!

A coupla weeks ago my first graders came into the art room full of questions about forms. They'd been learning about cylinders, spheres, cubes and the like in science and had a curious question: Can you make ANY shape into a form?  
I explained to 'em that yeah, you could. Geometric shapes become geometric forms. Circles become spheres, triangles become cones, pyramids or triangular prisms. Then our discussion turned to organic shapes and I just knew we'd be chatting forever. We were midway through this fun printing project and I knew if we kept talking, we'd never get them finished. 

"Tell you what. Our next art project will be all sorts of science experiementy. Sound good?!"  
Well, today my first graders wrapped up this project and it's been so much fun that I just had to share right away. I can't take much credit for this project at all as it was a montage of ideas from fab-o art teacherin' types. I've seen the beaker bottle project shared many times on pinterest. I decided to add the color-mixing/wet-on-wet painting portion to add more science to the mix. 

The bubble idea came from one of my all time favorite art teacherin' blogs. I always love everything that Natalie shares on her blog, she's the art teacher that I wanna be when I grow up! Make sure you visit her post to see the bubble videos she shared with her students...I know my kids loved viewing them!
Because this project took us a coupla days (I see these dudes for 30 minutes at a time so we work in baby steps) and involved so many introductions to science and technique, I created a lil how-to video for you. The instructional portion is in kid-friendly speak so you can feel free to share it with your students. Tell 'em Mrs. Stephens said hi. 
In case the sound of my voice is akin to nails on a chalk board, I thought I'd also jot down the daily steps of this here project!
Day #1: After chatting about shapes and forms, we drew them together! We looked at beakers and talked about measurements and added those lines and numbers to our beakers.

Day #2: We did a color mixing science experiment! 
After we got the experiment started, we set to painting our beaker bottles using the primary colors and the wet-on-wet method. 
 Day #3: We watched the bubble videos from Natalie's blog. I also blew bubbles and we looked at them and pointed out what we saw: that they were different sizes, sometimes they were connected, they overlapped, they were transparent and reflective. Using black paper, we started our chalked bubbles.
 Day #4: We finished off our bubbles and chatted about composition. After the beakers were cut out, the kids had to arrange them in a pleasing composition on their bubble paper before gluing them down. 
Day #5: We had a bubble printing party! It was so much fun, just check out this short clip:
To make the bubble printing paint use the following: aluminum pie pans, dish soap, water and paint. I add about two table spoons of soap to the pan with nearly a 1/4 cup of paint. Then stir in about 1-2 cups of water. There really isn't any exact science to it, I just dumped stuff in but for those of you that like measurements, there you go. Stir it around and it's ready! I had four students at each table with four different colors in each spot: red, blue, black and yellow. The kids were armed with a straw and a piece of construction paper (any thicker stock paper would work). 
I then told the kids our routine. When I hit my chime once, they place their paper in the corner of their table and blow into the pan in front of them. When I hit the chime again (10 seconds or so later), they were to "Smash Them Bubbles!" which quickly became our new chat. Then I would say, "Move to the right, move to the right, take your paper and your stray and move to the right, show me you're ready!". The kids would place their paper in the corner of their table again, bend down in front of their new pan and wait for the chime. It worked great! The next day, I spent about 10 minutes gluing their artwork to their new frames. They look fab, says moi!

Until next time, hope all y'all have a bubbly week!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png


  1. I love your project, and I'll try it with my middle school students!
    Thanks Elisa

  2. Anonymous2/19/2016

    You Rock girl! Hopefully the STEM educators will see it's the ARTS that teach it all and should be STEAM!!!!!

  3. You're welcome! Thank you for watching them!

  4. Natalie8/27/2017

    Hi Cassie,

    This science themed art is perfect for our current Change Through Science unit - I'm so thrilled to have found it. My kids (Year 6) are pumped to use soft pastels, as they've never used them before. They also found your video really helpful in learning how to draw the beakers in a 3D style. Love your work - thanks for sharing this!

  5. Hi Cassie and thanks so much for sharing such an awesome lesson with all of us. What type of paint did you add to the glue? Is it something that would still be good in a few months (to use maybe on another project)?

    Thanks again! I cannot wait to give this lesson a go : )
    run 2

  6. love this AND all the help with video tutorials and pics!! REALLY AWESOME OF YOU TO SHARE SO MUCH!!! Gonna adapt this to 3rd (as we're doing color theory, and elements right now) will do this as a collaborative piece with my 3rd grade science teachers...They will love Thanks again!

  7. This look AMAZING. I am going to try it next week with my third graders, who have been studying both still lives and symmetry.


Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.