CAN YOU BALANCE?

Grade 4: Can you Balance

Unit Description

Students will artfully explore balanced and unbalanced forces by creating a Calder mobile, constructing a Rube Goldberg Machine, and creating an entrepreneurial presentation to pitch their creation for purchase. Students will unleash creativity, sharpen their critical thinking skills, while applying their scientific understanding of force and motion.

Unit Essential Question

How can exploring balanced and unbalanced forces help us to understand cause and effect and change in our world?

Real World Context

Students studying about balanced and unbalanced forces can understand the mechanics of the world around them. When objects are balanced, they are still, whereas, when forces are unbalanced the object is moving. They are able to understand how certain materials interact with one another to create movement.

Cross-Cutting Interdisciplinary Concepts

Balance
Cause/Effect
Change
Inferencing
Predicting
Revising
Reflecting

Projects

Project 1: Balancing Act: Calder Mobile
In this project, students will use their knowledge of balance and unbalanced forces to design and create a Calder mobile. A Calder mobile is a mobile of 3 to 5 levels that has various materials attached to wire, that must be balanced upon completion. The material used to balance must be of various sizes including materials such as foam pieces, card stock, wire, string, paper clips, and/or beads. In completing this project, students will be using their critical thinking skills to utilize the materials to create a piece of artwork that incorporates the scientific concepts of gravitational forces, as well as balanced and unbalanced forces. Students will also write about their experience before, during, and after completion of the project.

Project 2: Goldberg’s Not-So-Simple Machine
In this project, students will engage in the design process around an exciting 4th grade science topic: Force & Motion! Students will create a drawing of a Goldberg Not-So-Simple-Machine and create a kinetic sculpture, or working model, of that machine. In this project, students will demonstrate how simple machines can be combined in a complicated way to perform a simple task.

Project 3: It’s Showtime!
In this project, students will have to first complete Project 2 in this 4th grade unit. In Project 2, they constructed a Rube Goldberg machine, using a set of simple machines that work together to comprise a complex machine with a specific function. In this particular project, students will be taking their hard work in the design studio and work on marketing it to an audience! Students will work collaboratively to write a persuasive script utilizing dialogue to clearly define a problem that their simple machine will solve. The purpose of the script is to persuade the audience to purchase their invention. Finally, it’s showtime and students will perform their script and skit!

Project Essential Questions

PROJECT 1:

  • How can gravitational forces affect the balance of objects?
  • How does proportion affect balance?

PROJECT 2:

  • How do balanced and unbalanced forces relate to simple machines?
  • How can simple machines combine to affect the balance of forces?
  • How can simple machines combine to affect motion?
  • How can simple machines make a task easier/harder?
  • How do we sometimes make things more complicated than they need to be?

PROJECT 3:

  • How can I use a persuasive, strong voice to express my knowledge of simple machines?

Standards

Curriculum Standards
S4P3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the relationship between balanced and unbalanced forces.

  1. Plan and carry out an investigation on the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on an object and communicate the results.
  2. Construct an argument to support the claim that gravitational force affects the motion of an object.
  3. Ask questions to identify and explain the uses of simple machines (lever, pulley, wedge, inclined plane, wheel and axle, and screw) and how forces are changed when simple machines are used to complete tasks.

ELAGSE4W1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.

  1. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
  2. Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details. c. Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition). d. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

ELAGSE4W2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

  1. Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  2. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
  3. Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases. (e.g., another, for example, also, because).
  4. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  5. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

Arts Standards

VA4PR.1 Creates artworks based on personal experience and selected themes.

  1. Makes design decisions as the result of conscious, thoughtful planning and choices.
  2. Formulates visual ideas by using a variety of resources (e.g., books, magazines, Internet).

VA4PR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional art processes (drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed-media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

  1. Produces drawings with a variety of media (e.g., pencils, crayons, pastels, and charcoal).

VA4PR.3 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of three-dimensional works of art (ceramics, sculpture, crafts, and mixed-media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

  1. Creates 3-D artwork that demonstrates a design concept: open or closed form, proportion, balance, color scheme, and movement.

VA:Cr2.1.4a - Explore and invent art-making techniques and approaches

TAES4.2 Developing scripts through improvisation and other theatrical methods

  1. Uses the playwriting process: pre-write/pre-play; prepare to write/plan dramatization; write/ dramatize; reflect and edit; re-write/play; publish/perform
  2. Analyzes the elements of a well-written script
  3. Creates an organizing structure for writing scripts

TAES4.3 Acting by developing, communicating, and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments

  1. Uses articulation, volume and vocal variety to communicate thoughts, emotions and actions of a character
  2. Uses stage areas and body movement to communicate thoughts, emotions, and actions of a character
  3. Uses imagination and real life experience to portray characters
  4. Collaborates with an ensemble to create theatre
  5. Dramatizes literature and original scripts through various dramatic forms such as story drama, pantomime, process drama, puppetry, improvisation and readers’ theatre

TAES4.7 Integrating various art forms, other content areas, and life experiences, to create theatre

  1. Identifies and describes the connection between theatre arts, visual art, music, dance, and technology
  2. Selects elements of other art forms to develop theatre
  3. Examines other core content areas through theatre experiences

TAES4.11 Engaging actively and appropriately as an audience member in theatre or other media experiences

  1. Assumes the roles and responsibilities of the audience
  2. Applies theatre etiquette

VA4MC.1 Engages in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas.

  1. Formulates visual ideas by using a variety of resources (e.g., books, magazines, Internet).

VA4MC.2 Formulates personal responses to visual imagery.

  1. Uses a sketchbook for planning and self- reflection.
  2. Self-monitors by asking questions before, during, and after art production to reflect upon and guide the artistic process

Materials to be Purchased for this Unit

Walmart.com pack of pipe cleaners 12 in- 1000 http://bit.ly/2sxGOwq 4/school- $13.70
Factory Direct Craft Pipe Cleaners 8 in- 18 http://bit.ly/2qIOqvi 10/school- $1.59
Walmart.com pack of foam sheets 78 sheets http://bit.ly/2l7jR3K 4/school- $17.99
Staples.com Assorted Card Stock 250 sheets http://bit.ly/2rk5ydP 4/school- $17.89
Walmart.com Paper Clips 1,000 http://bit.ly/2s2laUl 1/school- $8.20
Micheals.com Craft beads 7.0 oz http://bit.ly/2sy3iNz 4/school- $7.99
Micheals.com Wood/Shell 10. oz http://bit.ly/2rzxFGe 10/school- $9.99

Character Education

Components

Students will collaborate with second grade students on their findings with the unit. The students will present their “Not-So-Simple-Simple Machine” to their peers, and their peers will determine which project is the best creation.

Character Attributes Addressed During Unit

  • Respect
  • Fairness

Summative Assessments

  • Pre/ Post Test
  • Project 1 Rubric Balancing Act
  • Project 2 Rubric Not-So-Simple- Simple Machine
  • Project 3 Rubric It’s Showtime!

Appendix (See Additional Resources)

  • Pretest
  • Project 1 Lesson Plan
  • Project 1 Rubric
  • Project 2 Lesson Plan
  • Project 2 Rubric
  • Project 3 Lesson Plan
  • Project 3 Rubric

Credits

T. Renee Manuel, Mark Thompson, Andrea Pagano, Edited by Jessica Espinoza, Dr. Carla Cohen

Balancing Act: Calder Mobile

Description

In this project, students will use their knowledge of balance and unbalanced forces to design and create a Calder mobile. A Calder mobile is a mobile of 3 to 5 levels that has various materials attached to wire, that must be balanced upon completion. The material used to balance must be of various sizes including materials such as foam pieces, card stock, wire, string, paper clips, and/or beads. In completing this project, students will be using their critical thinking skills to utilize the materials to create a piece of artwork that incorporates the scientific concepts of gravitational forces, as well as balanced and unbalanced forces. Students will also write about their experience before, during, and after completion of the project.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • I can identify and compare balanced and unbalanced forces
  • I can create a balanced mobile using unbalanced forces
  • I can analyze how forces affect balance and revise my plan as I design
  • I can communicate my understanding of forces by reflecting upon my construction of my Calder mobile

Essential Questions

  • How can gravitational forces affect the balance of objects?
  • How does proportion affect balance?

Curriculum Standards

S4P3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the relationship between balanced and unbalanced forces.

  1. Plan and carry out an investigation on the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on an object and communicate the results.
  2. Construct an argument to support the claim that gravitational force affects the motion of an object.

ELAGSE4W2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

  1. Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  2. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
  3. Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases. (e.g., another, for example, also, because).
  4. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  5. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

Arts Standards

VA4PR.1 Creates artworks based on personal experience and selected themes.

  1. Makes design decisions as the result of conscious, thoughtful planning and choices.
  2. Formulates visual ideas by using a variety of resources (e.g., books, magazines, Internet).

VA4PR.3 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of three-dimensional works of art (ceramics, sculpture, crafts, and mixed-media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

  1. Creates 3-D artwork that demonstrates a design concept: open or closed form, proportion, balance, color scheme, and movement.

Content Vocabulary

  • Balance
  • Unbalanced
  • Gravitational force
  • Force
  • Explanatory writing
  • Reflection
  • Precise language
  • Mass

Arts Vocabulary

  • Balance: This is a sense of stability in the body of work. Balance can be created by repeating same shapes and by creating a feeling of equal weight.
  • Proportion: This refers to the relationships of the size of objects in a body of work. Proportion gives a sense of size seen as relationship of objects, such as smallness or largeness.

Technology Integration

Formative Assessment

  • Teacher will observe the students to determine if they understand what gravitational force is.
  • Teacher will observe the students to determine if they understand what balanced and unbalanced forces are.
  • Teacher will observe the students’ use of proportion in relation to balance.

Summative Assessment

  • Project 1 Rubric
  • The teacher will check for student’s communication of deeper thinking throughout the project (specifically checking for understanding of how proportion and gravitational forces affect balance).
  • The teacher will ask student reflection questions during the creation of their artwork:
    • How did you plan to balance your mobile?
    • How did you determine your number of levels?
    • How did you determine the material used to balance your mobile?
    • What did you have to rethink while attempting to balance your mobile?
    • How did gravitational force affect your plan?

Materials

  • pipe cleaners
  • paper clips
  • foam sheets
  • card stock
  • beads
  • string

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

Choose a book to explore as a class from the below list:

  • Alexander Calder: Meet the Artist by Patricia Geis
  • Sandy’s Circus: A Story About Alexander Calder by Tanya Lee Stone
  • Alexander Calder and His Magical Mobiles by Jean Lipman

Then introduce Alexander Calder to students and use this website to introduce students to the concept of mass: http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/experimental-balancing-sculptures

Main Activity

Part 1:

  • Facilitate class discussion on gravitational force. http://study.com/academy/lesson/gravitational-force-definition-equation-examples.html
  • Students can also use the websites (Technology integration) to explore gravitational forces and proportion as well to explore with balance in art. This can be facilitated independently or in small research groups.
  • Announce students that they are going to be challenged with a task. The task is to: Create a balanced mobile using unbalanced forces.

In small groups, direct students to:

  • Determine the number of levels for mobile (3-5).
  • Determine the lengths of wires.
  • Determine other materials for use.
  • Sketch the wire levels- predict how it will balance.
  • Start assembling the levels.

Part 2:

  • Review previous day’s information, more mobiles, and notes.
  • Start attaching materials: foam/cardstock/beads.
  • Check for balance and re-check as needed.
  • Record in journal how they balanced levels - did they have to omit materials, what changed?

(Give approximately 90 minutes total to design the mobile. If this time frame sounds prohibiting, structure this project to fit your students’ needs).

Classroom Tips:

  • Review project work pledge
  • Review safe work procedures
  • Review classroom rules
  • Review peer interaction regulations
  • Teacher will be in charge of cutting wire
  • Other materials can be divided into kits

Reflection Questions

  • How did you visualize your mobile?
  • Did your original plan work?
  • What did you have to fix?
  • If you positioned levels differently, how would your final product change?
  • If you changed materials, what would have changed? Why?

Differentiation

Below Grade Level: Modify number of levels required. Provide a graphic organizer with levels for students to draw and visualize materials to attach to each level. Give sentence frames for reflection journal. Provide opportunity for peer checks so students can get feedback on their project. You could also partner them with other students if this collaborative support is needed.

Above Grade Level: Increase number of levels, write instructions to build a mobile for a classmate.

EL Students: Modify number of levels, give sentence frames, include visual cues, provide extra time, and peer help.

Additional Resources

Appendix

  • Rubric for Project 1

Credits

Goldberg's Not-So-Simple-Machine

Description

In this project, students will engage in the design process around an exciting 4th grade science topic: Force & Motion! Students will create a drawing of a Goldberg Not-So-Simple-Machine and create a kinetic sculpture, or working model, of that machine. In this project, students will demonstrate how simple machines can be combined in a complicated way to perform a simple task.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Demonstrate how a simple machine does work
  • Create sketches for planning and self-reflection
  • Revise and refine my plans as I experiment with my creation
  • Create a working model from a sketch.
  • Represent a 3-dimensional model by a 2-dimensional drawing

Essential Questions

  • How do balanced and unbalanced forces relate to simple machines?
  • How can simple machines combine to affect the balance of forces?
  • How can simple machines combine to affect motion?
  • How can simple machines make a task easier/harder?
  • How do we sometimes make things more complicated than they need to be?

Curriculum Standards

S4P3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the relationship between balanced and unbalanced forces.

  1. Plan and carry out an investigation on the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on an object and communicate the results.
  2. Ask questions to identify and explain the uses of simple machines (lever, pulley, wedge, inclined plane, wheel and axle, and screw) and how forces are changed when simple machines are used to complete tasks.

Arts Standards

VA4MC.1 Engages in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas.

  1. Formulates visual ideas by using a variety of resources (e.g., books, magazines, Internet).

VA4MC.2 Formulates personal responses to visual imagery.

  1. Uses a sketchbook for planning and self- reflection.
  2. Self-monitors by asking questions before, during, and after art production to reflect upon and guide the artistic process

VA4PR.1 Creates artworks based on personal experience and selected themes.

  1. Makes design decisions as the result of conscious, thoughtful planning and choices.
  2. Combines materials in new and inventive ways to make a finished work of art.

VA4PR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional art processes (drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed-media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

  1. Produces drawings with a variety of media (e.g., pencils, crayons, pastels, and charcoal).

VA4PR.3 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of three-dimensional works of art (ceramics, sculpture, crafts, and mixed-media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

  1. Creates 3-D artwork that demonstrates a design concept: open or closed form, proportion, balance, color scheme, and movement.

Content Vocabulary

  • simple machine
  • balanced forces
  • unbalanced forces
  • force
  • work
  • inclined plane
  • lever
  • wedge
  • pulley
  • screw
  • wheel and axle

Arts Vocabulary

  • assemblage: an artistic process in which a 3-dimensional artistic composition is made from putting together found objects
  • kinetic sculpture: 3-dimensional art that is designed to move
  • craftsmanship: skill in producing expertly finished products
  • sketch: a rough drawing, often made to help make a more finished picture
  • variety: refers to differences in a work
  • two-dimensional art: art depicted on a flat surface
  • three-dimensional art: art that has height, width, and depth

Technology Integration

Formative Assessment

  • Teacher will observe the students experimenting for understanding of how simple machines work.
  • Teacher will question students on the functions of their simple machines.
  • Teacher will observe cooperation and participation.
  • Teacher will periodically assign each group a different simple machine to act out for a neighboring group to identify.

Summative Assessment

  • Initial pencil sketch of project idea
  • Pen and ink drawing of final product
  • Working Rube Goldberg Machine
  • Rubric

Materials

  • Mousetrap Game by Hasbro
  • Copy paper (1-2 sheets for each student for sketch)
  • 60# weight drawing paper (9"x12")
  • Black matting
  • Black Sharpies (fine point and extra-fine point)
  • Paper storage boxes
  • Safety goggles
  • Dominoes
  • Marbles
  • Ping-pong balls
  • Trains and tracks
  • Cars and tracks
  • Action figures
  • LEGOs
  • Wooden blocks (e.g. Jenga)
  • String
  • K'nex pieces
  • Mini-pulleys
  • Rube Goldberg Inventions (book)

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

  • Human Simple Machines: Each group chooses a card with the name/picture of a simple machine. The group acts out the simple machine for the class to identify.
  • Encourage students to think about how they can creatively use their body to work together and become the various parts of a simple machine
  • Show the OKGo music video of a Rube Goldberg machine for inspiration.
  • Have the Mousetrap Game set up and choose a group of students to demonstrate to the class how it runs. Explain to students that they will be using their creativity to design an unnecessarily complicated machine to do a simple job.

Main Activity

Part 1: Planning (45 minutes) Students work in Small Groups:

  • Research videos online of Rube Goldberg machines.
  • Brainstorm uses for materials.
  • Experiment with various materials.
  • Decide on a goal for the machine.
  • Individually sketch an initial design with pencil on copy paper. The goal is to include 6 or more Individual steps, using 4 or more simple machines.
  • Remind students that they should use as much variety as they can and try to include a "wow!" factor.
  • Compare designs and choose which to build or combine ideas into 1 initial idea.

Part 2: Beginning Creation Day 1 (45 minutes) Students work in Small Groups:

  • Students choose a simple machine to incorporate.
  • Students choose materials to create their part of the machine.
  • Students combine components as they get them to work.
  • Students work together to test each step and trouble-shoot.
  • At end of class, take photos of the machines created in each group and disassemble enough to store.

Part 3: Final Creation Day 2 (45 minutes) Students work in Small Groups:

  • Refer back to photos to reassemble machines in small groups.
  • Complete machine and test run the machine 3-4 times for evaluation.
  • Students begin sketch of their final machine. (Remind students that they must be very careful because they will only receive 1 piece of drawing paper.) Trace the drawing with a Sharpie to create final pen and ink drawing.
  • Neatly label all simple machines with ball-point pen or extra-fine Sharpie.

Classroom Tips:

  • Divide students into groups of 3-4. Students who are having difficulty might start with the last step and work backwards. 1 student in each group should take pictures of building progress at the end of each class period before machine is disassembled and stored. Each group should have a labeled box for storing partial products. Students should be cautioned to use dominoes sparingly due to difficulty of use and unpredictability.

Reflection Questions

  • How did you choose the job you wanted your machine to do?
  • What would have been the simplest way to do the job without the machine?
  • Why was it important to plan before trying to build the machine?
  • How did your drawing change from your first sketch to the final copy?
  • What would have made the process simpler?

Differentiation

Below Grade Level: Preview the key vocabulary with pictures listed beside each word on an anchor chart, word wall, or flashcards. The teacher and students will define words together. This may be done in small group the day before the unit begins. Group students heterogeneously, and assist the group to help find appropriate contributions for each step of the project based on individual strengths.

Above Grade Level:

  • Students keep a blog or vlog of the process.
  • Students create a cartoon in the spirit of Rube Goldberg.

EL Students:

  • Pre/Post Test: read aloud or small group accommodation as needed
  • Preview the key vocabulary with pictures listed beside each word on an anchor chart, word wall, or flashcards. The teacher and students will define words together. This may be done in small group the day before the unit begins. The ESOL teacher may meet with students who are lacking the basic vocabulary for additional practice before starting the unit.

ELP 1-2

  • Pair students with partners with higher writing proficiencies. Allow students to respond in their native language and have a peer translate their responses.

ELP 3-6

  • Allow students to proofread their responses by dictating their reflections in OneNote (OneNote>Learning Tools Add-in>Dictate).

Additional Resources

  • Skype: "Talk with Jennifer George, Rube’s Granddaughter and author of the best-selling book, The Art of Rube Goldberg. Jennifer discusses her grandfather’s cartoons and little-known facts about the man she knew as Papa Rube." (from https://www.rubegoldberg.com/education/skype-in-the-classroom/)
  • Students keep a blog or vlog of the process.
  • Students create a cartoon in the spirit of Rube Goldberg.

Appendix

  • Rubric for Project 2

Credits

It's Showtime!

Description

In this project, students will have to first complete Project 2 in this 4th grade unit. In Project 2, they constructed a Rube Goldberg machine, using a set of simple machines that work together to comprise a complex machine with a specific function. In this particular project, students will be taking their hard work in the design studio and work on marketing it to an audience! Students will work collaboratively to write a persuasive script utilizing dialogue to clearly define a problem that their simple machine will solve. The purpose of the script is to persuade the audience to purchase their invention. Finally, it’s showtime and students will perform their script and skit!

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Present a persuasive pitch for why my Rube Goldberg machine is worth purchasing
  • I can work collaboratively to write a persuasive script, which clearly defines a problem that our Not-So-Simple-Machine will solve
  • Perform a skit using a persuasive strong voice that brings to life our script

Essential Questions

  • How can I use a persuasive, strong voice to express my knowledge of simple machines?

Curriculum Standards

S4P3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the relationship between balanced and unbalanced forces.

  1. Plan and carry out an investigation on the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on an object and communicate the results.
  2. Construct an argument to support the claim that gravitational force affects the motion of an object.
  3. Ask questions to identify and explain the uses of simple machines (lever, pulley, wedge, inclined plane, wheel and axle, and screw) and how forces are changed when simple machines are used to complete tasks.

ELAGSE4W1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.

  1. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
  2. Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details. c. Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition). d. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

Arts Standards

  1. Uses the playwriting process: pre-write/pre-play; prepare to write/plan dramatization; write/ dramatize; reflect and edit; re-write/play; publish/perform
  2. Analyzes the elements of a well-written script
  3. Creates an organizing structure for writing scripts

TAES4.3 Acting by developing, communicating, and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments

  1. Uses articulation, volume and vocal variety to communicate thoughts, emotions and actions of a character
  2. Uses stage areas and body movement to communicate thoughts, emotions, and actions of a character
  3. Uses imagination and real life experience to portray characters
  4. Collaborates with an ensemble to create theatre
  5. Dramatizes literature and original scripts through various dramatic forms such as story drama, pantomime, process drama, puppetry, improvisation and readers’ theatre

TAES4.7 Integrating various art forms, other content areas, and life experiences, to create theatre

  1. Identifies and describes the connection between theatre arts, visual art, music, dance, and technology
  2. Selects elements of other art forms to develop theatre
  3. Examines other core content areas through theatre experiences

TAES4.11 Engaging actively and appropriately as an audience member in theatre or other media experiences

  1. Assumes the roles and responsibilities of the audience
  2. Applies theatre etiquette

Content Vocabulary

  • Balanced
  • Unbalanced forces
  • Gravitational Force
  • Motion
  • Simple Machines
  • Rube Goldberg

Arts Vocabulary

  • Ensemble: this is all the parts of thing taken together, so that each part is considered only in relation to the whole
  • Volume: the degree of sound intensity or audibility
  • Dialogue: this is a conversation between two or more persons
  • Theater: dramatic literature or its performance
  • Audience: the group of listeners collectively as in attendance at a theater
  • Locomotive: this refers to a movement that travels through space
  • Non-Locomotive: this refers to a movement that does not travel through space
  • Pantomime: the art of technique of conveying emotions, actions, feelings by gestures without speech
  • Props: these are items that actors use in a performance to depict real-life objects
  • Diction: this is using a “crisp & clear” actor voice that can be understood by everyone watching and listening

Technology Integration

Websites:

Formative Assessment

  • Teacher will observe students while they work and engage in conversation about science concepts during the activators for part 2 and 3.
  • Teacher will read scripts and offer feedback as necessary.

Summative Assessment

  • Teacher will assess student understanding of simple machines based on their script and performance.
  • Students will answer reflection questions.

Materials

  • Costuming: Each student can design or assemble a costume based on the product they are pitching. Example: Students may choose to wear a lab coat and safety goggles for the presentation.
  • Tablecloth

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

  • Activating Strategy Part 1: Students will read aloud an example of Reader’s Theater: Deluxe Slushy Lemonade Machine (SEE DOWNLOAD). It will serve as a model for their classwork.
    • Students will pair up in groups of two and practice reading the example.
  • Activating Strategy for Part 2: Whole group choral echo. (Teacher and student will say the same phrase aloud repeating in in chorus, students are perfecting their “performance voice” with an emphasis on volume and diction.)
    • Round 1:
      • Teacher: The big black bug.
      • Students: The big black bug.
      • Teacher: Ate the big black bear.
      • Students: Ate the big black bear.
    • Round 2: Students create two circles, the inner circle faces towards the outer circle. Each student facing students will become their partner. Refer to the inner circle as Partner A, and the outer circle Partner B. Once children are set, Teacher will direct Partner A to say their lines and Partner B will respond. The outer circle will rotate clockwise one-step and pair up with a new partner A in the inner circle.
      • Partner A: The big black bug.
      • Partner B: The big black bug.
      • Partner A: Ate the big black bear.
      • Partner B: Ate the big black bear.
    • Round 3: Students stay in their circles and try another phrase to the echo. Once children are set, Teacher will direct Partner A to say their lines and Partner B will respond. The outer circle will rotate clockwise one-step and pair up with a new partner A in the inner circle.
      • Partner A: The big black bug.
      • Partner B: The big black bug.
      • Partner A: Ate the big black bear.
      • Partner B: Ate the big black bear.
      • Partner A: The big black bear
      • Partner B: The big black bear.
      • Partner A: Ate the big black bug.
      • Partner B: Ate the big black bug.

Main Activity

Part 1: Script Writing

  • Students will have an opportunity to write a script for their machine. It is important for them to remember to persuade the audience to purchase their product and use the example script as a model.
    • Working collaboratively, students will need to include the following elements in their script.
      • Each member of the group must have a speaking role in the presentation.
      • It must clearly define a problem and explain/show how their “Not So Simple Machine” will serve as its solution.
      • Include 3 reasons to support its purpose
      • Persuade the audience to purchase their simple machine.

Part 2: Rehearsal

  • Students will have the opportunity to rehearse their skit. Students will work in their groups to rehearse their skits being mindful of having a strong, expressive performance voice.
    • Preparedness: They will prepare the presentation for the skit.
      • Group must showcase their rendering.
      • Group must set up their “Not So Simple Machine”.
      • Determine the placement of each character onstage.
      • Determine the costumes and props being included.

Part 3: Performance

  • It’s showtime! Students will present their skit to the class.
    • Each group will take turns for their presentation.
      • Review with the class the proper etiquette for an attentive audience member. Remind the students that part of their grade is in this category.
      • Students will present with loud, clear voices with strong bodies.
      • Students will “run” their machine and show the audience that it functions properly.

Classroom Tips:

  • Teacher needs to establish reasonable, yet manageable goals for each part of the project. When students are working collaboratively, they must respect the needs of other groups. They can easily speak loudly and disrupt others while they are working. On another note, students will often divide the tasks among themselves, however be sure to require all students to participate equally. Children may be frustrated when working in groups, prior to each work period, review strategies to ensure a positive experience. Depending on your class size and setting, the teacher may want to have all groups set up their presentation prior to the show so that transition times are minimum.

Reflection Questions

  • Identify the simple machines in your “Not So Simple Machine”.
  • Explain how each simple machine uses balanced and unbalanced forces to operate individually or as a whole.
  • If you had the opportunity to do this project again what would you do differently next time?

Differentiation

Below Grade Level: Provide students with key vocabulary terms with definitions to be used in their scripts. Preview the key vocabulary on an anchor chart, word wall, or flashcards. Group heterogeneously with students with higher writing proficiencies.

Above Grade Level: Within the given small groups, students will take on the role of the simple machine by personifying it and acting as if they were the simple machine persuading the class to make the purchase.

EL Students:

  • Preview the key vocabulary with pictures listed beside each word on an anchor chart, word wall, or flashcards. The teacher and students will define words together. This may be done in small group the day before the unit begins. The ESOL teacher may meet with students who are lacking the basic vocabulary for additional practice before starting the unit.

ELP 1-2

  • Option 1: Group heterogeneously with students with higher writing proficiencies. Allow level 1-2 students to illustrate different parts of the script to hold up during the whole group presentation.

ELP 3-4

  • Give students a checklist or graphic organizer they may use to ensure that they include all required portions in their script in a logical sequence. Students should be expected to provide evidence to support their persuasive points. Source: (WIDA CanDo Key Uses Gr4-5, pg. 9)

Appendix

  • Rubric for Project 3
  • Example of Readers Theatre: Deluxe Slushy Lemonade Simple Machine

Credits

Grade 4: Can you Balance

Additional Resources

Suggested Books

  • Alexander Calder: Meet the Artist by Patricia Geis
  • Rube Goldberg Inventions
  • Sandy’s Circus: A Story About Alexander Calder by Tanya Lee Stone
  • Alexander Calder and His Magical Mobiles

Websites

SHARE
DOWNLOADS
Entire Unit
FACEBOOK

2 months ago

ArtsNow
This week we are kicking off the school year with these terrific teachers at LaBelle Elementary in Cobb County! We are spending this week curriculum mapping and doing collaborative planning sessions for arts integration in classrooms. Stay tuned for the finished school map! 😊Image attachment

This week we are kicking off the school year with these terrific teachers at LaBelle Elementary in Cobb County! We are spending this week curriculum mapping and doing collaborative planning sessions for arts integration in classrooms. Stay tuned for the finished school map! 😊 ... See MoreSee Less

3 months ago

ArtsNow
Great week together with this great group of teachers! We ❤️ arts integration. (Teacher leaders from 3 school districts!)Image attachment

Great week together with this great group of teachers! We ❤️ arts integration. (Teacher leaders from 3 school districts!) ... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Jessica Rosa Espinoza Taylor Almonte

Kimberly Campos Robin Jones Great job girls!!

You got to see Jessica!!!!! So jealous!