Our local high school is going to put on a parade this summer, so the fourth graders at Trevvett Elementary have been tasked with designing the float for their school. They asked me to help them develop prototypes, and then they would vote on the best one to actually build. I decided to show them Tinkercad because they could create 3-D models of their float ideas and print them on the 3-D printer. First, we discussed parades and floats they had seen before. What made a float memorable? How do you think they were constructed? I showed them this slideshow with sample floats for inspiration. The theme for our school’s float is “Creativity,” one of the HLP categories we have been focusing on this year. How do these sample floats showcase creativity in their materials and design? Next, we went to Tinkercad and I explained how to use the tools, modify the 3-D shapes, and make holes and text. They have been learning about solid geometric figures in Math (SOL4.11), so we identified the various shapes as we used them. After the students designed their floats, they took screenshots of them, and shared them in a Schoology gallery. You can see some of their designs here.
Second graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about animal habitats (SOL2.5b), so today, students in Ms. Brown’s class used CoSpaces to create 3-D models of different habitats. First we reviewed the habitats they have studied (desert, woodlands, grasslands, ocean, arctic, etc.), and they chose one they wanted to illustrate. Next, we went to CoSpaces, logged in with our Google accounts, created a new space, and chose an image from the Environment library that resembled our habitat. Then, the students needed to find plants and animals from the Objects library that would live in their environment. There are plenty of models to choose from, but students could also design their own using the 3-D shapes. I showed them how right clicking on an object presents a menu they can use to change its color, size and position. They clicked the speech bubble icon on one of the animals and wrote a complete sentence about that animal and its habitat. Finally, we published our model and shared the link with our classmates on Schoology. You can see them all here. v
Third graders at Varina Elementary have been learning about plants and animals in Science (SOL3.6) and about measurement in Math (SOL3.9). Today students in Ms. Hummel’s class created a 3-D scene where the visitor can estimate the measurement of a plant or animal, and check their answer. First, we created the 3-D scene using CoSpaces. I showed them how to choose a background with the Environment button and add objects with the Library button. Since there is a limited number of plants and animals in the Library, the students had to choose one of those to measure. Next, they opened a new tab and searched the Internet for the plant’s or animal’s actual measurements. Back in CoSpaces, they added two panels from the Library and typed the correct measurement on one panel, and a different measurement on the other (maybe with a different unit or amount). I showed them how to right click on the objects in the scene and activate them to be used in Blockly (the coding language). Finally, we clicked the code button and programmed the objects so that when the visitor clicks a panel, something lets them know that they are right or wrong (maybe a person says something or an object turns a color). The student’s posted the links to their scenes on Schoology for their classmates to explore, but you can see them all here.
Fifth graders at Varina Elementary have been learning about cells and their different parts in Science (SOL5.5a), and they have been learning how to use adjectives and adverbs in English (SOL5.8b). Today, students in Mr. Williams’ class created 3-D models of cells and wrote descriptive sentences of some of the parts using adjectives and adverbs. We used a great site called CoSpaces to create the 3-D models. First, we logged in using our Google accounts, and I showed them how to pick a background from the Environment tab. Next, we clicked the Library and built a model of a plant or animal cell using the cubes, spheres, and other shapes from the Library. We right clicked on each shape to change its color and activate it for use in Blockly (the coding language). Finally, we used blocks of code to program the cell parts to identify themselves when clicked. The students typed sentences with adverbs and adjectives describing each part’s function. You can see them all here. (UPDATE: I taught this lesson in a couple of other classes as well, so I’ve included some student samples from those lessons on the document. In one class we made the cell parts actually speak by recording ourselves in Vocaroo and uploading the MP3 audio files to CoSpaces).
Fifth graders at Trevvett Elementary have been learning about character traits and making inferences (SOL 5.5b,i). Today students in Ms. Brown’s class created 3-D scenes where the viewer has to make inferences about the character traits based on what the character does and says. First, we discussed how to show (but not tell) character traits in a story. How can we show that a character is compassionate? short-tempered? clumsy? brave? deceitful? I explained that they would use code to animate a 3-D model, revealing one character trait. We brainstormed a list of traits, and they chose one they wanted to show. Next, we signed into CoSpaces with our Google accounts and created a new scene. I showed them how to click the Environment button at the bottom and select one of the built-in backgrounds. Then we clicked on the Library button and added people and objects to the scene. I demonstrated how to use the buttons that appear above each object to resize, raise/lower, and rotate it. Right clicking on an object reveals a menu for customizing its color and activating it for use in the Blockly code. Finally, we clicked the Code button at the top and added bits of code to make it move and speak and interact with other objects. We published our projects with the Share button and pasted the links to Schoology with a question about the character traits for our classmates to answer. You can see all their projects and questions here.
Fourth graders at Varina Elementary have been learning about the Indian tribes of Virginia and their language groups (VS.2d,e). Today students in Ms. Connell’s class created virtual 3-D dioramas of a tribe of their choice using CoSpaces. First, we reviewed the tribes (Powhatan, Monacan, and Cherokee), their language groups (Algonquian, Siouan, and Iroquoian), and where they lived in Virginia. Next, I explained the project and pointed out that these dioramas could be viewed and explored with virtual reality goggles. They could also use coding to add actions and sounds to their project (we didn’t get that far, but I made an example here where you can click each person, and they will move and speak). After logging into CoSpaces with our Google accounts, we created a new space, and I showed them how to set the background with the Environment button at the bottom. CoSpaces offers a few backgrounds, but we did a Google search for a 360 degree photo of Virgina woodlands, and uploaded that. Next I showed them how to add characters from the Library and right click on each one to customize its colors and poses. I also explained how to add speech bubbles and type facts about the tribe. We used the Building Blocks library to create model longhouses. Finally we clicked the share button, copied the link, and posted our creations on Schoology. You can see them all here.
Fourth graders at Laburnum Elementary have been reviewing for their upcoming SOL Tests, so today students in Ms. Mauck’s class created virtual-reality review worlds about a topic using CoSpaces. First, we reviewed different topics to get them thinking. They’ve learned about motion (SOL4.2), electricity (SOL4.3), plants (SOL4.4), animals (SOL4.5) weather (SOL4.6), space (SOL4.7), Virginia history (Virginia Studies), and more. There were plenty of topics to choose from! Next, we signed into CoSpaces with our Google accounts. I showed the students how to choose a background image (you can also upload your own 360 photo as a background image). Next we went to the Library (at the bottom) and added a person. The older objects are currently more customizable than the newer (low-poly) models. I showed them how to click on an object to resize or raise it using the buttons that appear above it (you have to click and drag the actual button). You can also rotate objects with the rotate button. To customize the object, we right clicked on it and changed the colors or typed something for it to say. We also made walls using the “Building blocks” in the library. Students added photos of their topic to the walls by clicking “Web image search,” then right clicking the image to make it a “Panel,” and attaching it to the wall with the “Attach” button. CoSpaces even has a coding feature, but the students didn’t have time to use that (look at my example to see some coding features). Finally, we published our projects and pasted the links to Google classroom so everyone could explore our virtual worlds for review. You can take a look at them here.