Jazzing Up a Science Unit with Fine Arts Activities

Jazzing Up a Science Unit with Fine Arts Activities 

“Science must be something that students do, not something that is done to them,” say Judy Beck and Laura Kaufmann (University of South Carolina Upstate/Greenville) and Cece Toole (Meredith College) in this article in AMLE Magazine. In that spirit, they suggest how a middle-school unit on simple machines can incorporate drama, visual arts, dance, and music:

• Show videos of simple machines and have students write about what they learned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMtYSr_abLg and 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdTYXc9EYHo and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k84twc_F89k 

• Show pictures of gadgets made of simple machines from the Inventor’s Toolbox – www.mos.org/sln/Leonardo/InventorsToolbox.html - and have students list the simple machines that make up these complex gizmos.

• Show the music video www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1Fhs8pXGxM and have students read the lyrics of Bill Nye’s song: http://lyrics.wikia.com/Bill_Nye:ABC%27s_of_Machinery

After these introductory activities, Beck, Kaufmann, and Toole then suggest breaking students into four groups based on interests:

• Movement/dance – Students create a dance with a movement for each of the six simple machines.

• Theater/drama – Students create a skit portraying each simple machine.

• Visual arts – Students create a mobile with a visual representation and a real-world application of each of the simple machines.

• Music – Students create their own song or rap explaining the six simple machines and how they are used in the real world.

“Exploring Science Through Fine Arts” by Judy Beck, Laura Kaufmann, and Cece Toole in AMLE Magazine, September 2013 (Vol. 1, #2, p. 20-23), www.amle.org; the authors can be reached at jbeck@uscupstate.edu, lkaufmann@uscupstate.edu and toolecec@meredith.edu

From the Marshall Memo #504

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