I have a few students who are completely obsessed with angry birds this year, so when I remembered I had pinned nets for angry bird solids a while back, I knew it was time to pull them out. Our math unit was 3D shapes, so we were looking at nets, constructing solids, and measuring volume and surface area. Perfect. Our science unit was structures and forces acting on structures. Even more perfect. So, we got creative and combined the two. (***Note - I don't have a unit for this, or even sheets to share, as the angry bird brand is very protected by trademark laws, or copyright laws, or something like that. I am going to post pics of everything we did, and if it sounds like fun, feel free to borrow these ideas for your classroom).
We first made our 3D shapes from the Angry Bird nets. You can download your own copies HERE. When students were finished constructing their solids, they had to find the volume and surface area of 4 different sized solids (since most of the solids are cubes, this step wasn't too difficult for them. To up the difficulty a bit, I required my grade 6 students to find the surface area of the yellow bird - a tetrahedron).
Once we were done with the math, we decorated our shoe boxes to give our birds a home. (Also made it much easier to store all their materials, and stacked nicely in the corner of the classroom to contain the clutter. They then had to start on their structures. We had watched a few videos about types of structures, and read a few articles, and then they got started. I gave each student 30 popsicle sticks, 7 straws, 3 arms lengths of masking tape, a piece of paper, and 10 paper clips. Structures had to be 30 cm tall, have a 10 x 10 cm platform on the top, and be able to withstand the forces of gravity, hurricane winds, and a ground-shaking earthquake. They took about 2 science periods to complete their structures.
By today we had finished everything, and this afternoon we tested our structures out. First we measured the height and the size of the platform.
Then we turned the fan on high to simulate those hurricane winds.
Then we tested the effects of gravity by placing 50g weights on top of the structures.
Last, we shook for boxes for 10 seconds to see if they could take the ground shaking earthquake. When we were finished, students had a reflection sheet to answer, and the final projects were marked with a checklist rubric.
Such a fun summative project! And angry birds definitely equalled happy students in my classroom. I took a picture of each of the kids with their projects, and sent the pics home with the parents. I'll leave you with a few pics of the finished projects.