Grade 6:
Astronomy

ASTRONOMY

Grade 6: Astronomy

Unit Description

In this arts integrated unit, students will become immersed in the areas of dance and the visual arts. Students will have a better understanding of the characteristics of the planets in our solar system as they choreograph dances to interpret specific planets. Students will also study three types of galaxies as they demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of galaxies through a visual arts project using glow-in-the-dark paints.

Unit Essential Question

What are the characteristics of galaxies, and how does Earth compare to other planets in our solar system?

Real World Context

We study and analyze the planets in our solar system, as well as different types of galaxies in outer space, in order to have a better understanding of the world we live in, the universe, and the galaxies that surround us. By understanding the characteristics of each of the planets in our solar system, we can compare and contrast their similarities and differences. The idea of space exploration includes the possibility of discovering new planets, galaxies, or solar systems.

Cross-Cutting Interdisciplinary Concepts

Relationships
Comparison (Compare and Contrast)
Parts of a Whole

Components

Dance Component: Dancing with Planets
In this component, students will study the planets of our galaxy and create a choreography piece that represents their planet. Students will understand the elements of dance, specifically movement qualities and how they can be used to express ideas. The students will be given the opportunity to make connections between movement qualities of dance and the characteristics of planets. The final outcome of this project will be a short film in which the students record their planet dance and learn how to edit a video that has been recorded.

Visual Arts Component: Glowing Galaxies Design Challenge
In this arts integrated component, students will create a visual representation of a glowing galaxy using paintbrushes that they create from everyday materials. Students will identify three types of galaxies found in our universe. Students will also describe the shapes and colors of these galaxies, understanding the reasons behind the shape and color of the galaxy.

Standards

Curriculum Standards

S6E1. Students will explore current scientific views of the universe and how those views evolved.

  1. Relate the Nature of Science to the progression of basic historical scientific models (geocentric, heliocentric) as they describe our solar system, and the Big Bang as it describes the formation of the universe
  2. Describe the position of the solar system in the Milky Way galaxy and the universe
  3. Compare and contrast the planets in terms of size relative to the earth, surface and atmospheric features, relative distance from the sun, ability to support life

Arts Standards

DMSPFD.2. Understands and models dance etiquette as a classroom participant, performer, and observer

DMSPCR.1. Demonstrates an understanding of creative and choreographic principles, processes, and structures

DMSPCR.2. Demonstrates an understanding of dance as a way to create and communicate meaning

DMSPRE.1. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking in all aspects of dance

VA6MC.2. Identifies and works to solve visual problems through creative thinking, planning, and/or experimenting with art materials, tools and techniques

VA6PR.1. Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes

VA6PR.2. Creates artwork reflecting a range of concepts, ideas, and subject matter

Character Education

Components

These two arts integrated components lead naturally into the concept and or the need for accepting all similarities and differences in humans. By learning how and why different planets are unique, but are still part of our solar system, we are able to also better understand the importance of people being different and how these differences allow for the world we live in to be exciting, perhaps challenging, as well as complex. Providing students with the tools necessary for working in groups and being part of a team is crucial for success to occur in and out of the school setting.

Attributes

Respect

  • For one another

Parts of a Whole

  • Cooperate/working in groups

Summative Assessment

  • Planet Movement Video: Students will create a choreographed dance, showing the characteristics/attributes of a given planet. They will record this dance, add the elements of music as well as props & background images for the final touches in their video.
  • Galaxy Painting: Students will create a glowing galaxy visual representation of a specific type of galaxy.
  • Paintbrushes: Students will create a paintbrush using found materials to use as they create their glowing galaxy. The students should concentrate on the design of their paintbrush and how it will assist them in the brush strokes to best represent their type of galaxy.
  • Glowing Galaxy Painting: Students will create a glowing piece of art by painting a galaxy to represent the information they’ve accrued throughout the Activating Strategy as well as the design process.
  • Reflection Questions (both components): Students will use these questions to reflect on the important parts of the lessons. (See Downloads)

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Written Reflection Sheet
  • Video Examples of Student Work
  • Photo Examples of Student Work

Credits

ArtsNow, Inc. and Bear Creek Middle School, Barrow County School System
Ideas contributed and edited by: Melissa Dittmar Joy, Shannon Mulkey, Ashley Bailey, Michele McClelland

Dance Component - Dancing with Planets

Science and Dance

Description

In this component, students will study the planets of our galaxy and create a choreography piece that represents their planet. Students will understand the elements of dance, specifically movement qualities and how they can be used to express ideas. The students will be given the opportunity to make connections between movement qualities of dance and the characteristics of planets. The final outcome of this project will be a short film in which the students record their planet dance and learn how to edit a video that has been recorded.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Compare and contrast the size of my chosen planet relative to the Earth
  • Compare and contrast the surface and atmospheric features of my chosen planet relative to Earth
  • Decipher the relative distance from the sun and my chosen planet
  • Examine the ability to support life on Earth to my chosen planet

Essential Questions

  • How does Earth compare to other planets in our solar system?
  • How can dance elements represent characteristics of planets through planned choreography?

Curriculum Standards

S6E1. Students will explore current scientific views of the universe and how those views evolved.

  1. Compare and contrast the planets in terms of size relative to the earth, surface and atmospheric features, relative distance from the sun, ability to support life

Arts Standards

DMSPFD.2. Understands and models dance etiquette as a classroom participant, performer, and observer

DMSPCR.1. Demonstrates an understanding of creative and choreographic principles, processes, and structures

DMSPCR.2. Demonstrates an understanding of dance as a way to create and communicate meaning

DMSPRE.1. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking in all aspects of dance

Content Vocabulary

  • Planet
  • Gravity
  • Solar system
  • Relative size
  • Relative distance
  • Atmospheric features
  • Orbit
  • Ellipses
  • Dwarf planet
  • Planetary motion
  • Inertia
  • Gravitational attraction

Arts Vocabulary

  • Locomotor: a movement that travels through space
  • Non-locomotor: a movement that does not travel through space
  • Levels: one of the aspects of the movement element space; in dance there are 3 basic levels - high, middle and low
  • Pathways: the designs traced on the floor as a dancer travels across space; the designs traced in the air as a dancer moves various body parts
  • Shapes: an interesting and interrelated arrangement of body parts of one dancer; the visual makeup or molding of the body parts of a single dancer; the overall visible appearance of a group of dancers
  • Movement qualities: Percussive, vibratory, swinging, sustained, suspended

Use of Technology

  • Green Screen Technology
  • Video Camera
  • Video Editing Software, such as iMovie

Formative Assessment

  • Teacher led questioning through activating strategy and main activity.

Summative Assessment

  • Planet Movement Video

Materials

Video camera, recording device, “green” screen, selections of music pieces/songs, various prop materials, chart paper, notebook paper, writing instruments

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

  • Explore movement qualities of dance through a warm-up, concentrating on the following elements of dance: level, space, shape, pathways, and movement qualities.

Main Activity

Part 1:

  • Students will identify characteristics of planets. When they identify an attribute they will perform a movement or action to represent it non verbally. (This will set the tone for this project.)

Part 2:

  • Students select a planet/group.
  • Students will begin to research their planets.

Part 3:

  • With their partner, students will discuss characteristics/attributes of their assigned/selected planet that they are going to represent through their choreography.
  • Students will begin to choreograph their planet dance. Remind the students to think about the elements of dance that they learned about during the Activating Strategy.
  • Students must select music (from given choices) that also represents the feeling/mood/attributes of their planet.

Part 4:

  • Utilizing costuming and props, students will create a choreographic work to represent their planet.
  • Choreography will be recorded in front of a green screen.
  • Students must select visual images of their planet to be placed in edited work.
  • Students will edit their film using iMovie or a similar type of software.
  • Students will add their selected musical pieces along with the background images for the final touch.

Part 5:

  • When all films have been completed have a film screening session in order for the groups to share their films.

Classroom Tips:

  • Student groups will need space to work, plan and choreograph.
  • Give them the dimension of the screen or camera reach before planning begins.
  • There will be noise, but understand this should be on-task “chatter.”
  • Some groups will need more guidance than others in getting ideas together.

Reflective Questions

  • What dance elements did you use to represent size, features, distance, and life? How do they represent these things for your planet?
  • What background image and music did you choose? Why?
  • What movement choices did you make and why- what were they representing?
  • Why did you choose that costume, prop, music, etc.?
  • How did you make your decisions, what changes occurred in the choreographic process?

Differentiation

Below Grade Level/EL Students:

  • Create a class work on one selected planet, remove options for self-selection of music, props, and costumes.

Above Grade Level:

  • Add in additional elements/requirements. Add another planet to be represented in complete work and relationship between the two planets also must be represented in choreography.

Additional Resources

  • Pictures and images of planets’ surface, atmosphere, colors to help ignite ideas
  • Gustov’s “The Planets” (piece of music)

Books

  • Astronomy in the Real World by Susan E. Haman
  • Beyond the Solar System: Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets, and More: A History with 21 Activities by Mary Kay Carson
  • The Milky Way and Beyond: Stars, Nebulae, and Other Galaxies by Explorer’s Guide to the Universe/Erik Gregersen
  • Galaxies by Howard K. Trammel
  • 20 Fun Facts about Galaxies by Michael Sabatino
  • A Trip through the Milky Way by Heather Moore Niver

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Written Reflection Sheet
  • Video examples of student work

Credits

Visual Arts Component - Glowing Galaxies Design Challenge

Science and Visual Arts

Description

In this arts integrated component, students will create a visual representation of a glowing galaxy using paintbrushes that they create from everyday materials. Students will identify three types of galaxies found in our universe. Students will also describe the shapes and colors of these galaxies, understanding the reasons behind the shape and color of the galaxy.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Identify the types of galaxies found in the universe
  • Describe the Milky Way galaxy and where our solar system is located within that galaxy
  • Distinguish the shape and color of different types of galaxies
  • Use the design process to create experimental paintbrushes
  • Identify the elements of art and principles of design in photographs of galaxies

Essential Questions

  • How can we create a visual representation of the different types of galaxies?
  • How can we use experimental design to create paintbrushes that represent the characteristics of the galaxies?

Curriculum Standards

S6E1. Students will explore current scientific views of the universe and how those views evolved.

  1. Relate the Nature of Science to the progression of basic historical scientific models (geocentric, heliocentric) as they describe our solar system, and the Big Bang as it describes the formation of the universe
  2. Describe the position of the solar system in the Milky Way galaxy and the universe

Arts Standards

VA6MC.2. Identifies and works to solve visual problems through creative thinking, planning, and/or experimenting with art materials, tools and techniques

VA6PR.1. Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes

VA6PR.2. Creates artwork reflecting a range of concepts, ideas, and subject matter

Content Vocabulary

  • Universe
  • Galaxy
  • Milky Way
  • Solar System
  • Spiral Galaxy
  • Elliptical Galaxy

Arts Vocabulary

  • Design process: to plan and make decisions about something that is being built or created
  • Brushstroke: the configuration given to paint by contact with the bristles of a brush
  • Light spectrum: the group of colors that a ray of light can be separated into including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet: the colors that can be seen in a rainbow
  • Black light: invisible ultraviolet light, a lamp that radiates black light
  • Line: an element of art which refers to the continuous mark made on some surface by a moving point
  • Shape: an enclosed space defined by other elements of art
  • Form: an element of art that is three-dimensional and encloses volume (cubes, spheres, and cylinders are examples of various forms)
  • Color: an element of art with three properties 1) hue, the name of the color 2) intensity or the purity and strength of the color such as brightness or dullness 3) value, or the lightness or darkness of the color
  • Space: refers to the distance or area between, around, above or within things
  • Movement: associated with rhythm and refers to the arrangement of parts in an artwork that creates a sense of motion to the viewer’s eye through the work
  • Proportion: refers to the relationships of the size of objects in a body of work
  • Balance: a sense of stability in the body of work
  • Harmony: this is achieved in a body of work by using similar elements throughout the work
  • Unity: this is seen in a painting or drawing when all the parts equal a whole

Use of Technology

  • Design Process/Makerspace
  • Computer, internet, projector

Formative Assessment

  • Teacher led questioning through Activating Strategy and Main Activity

Summative Assessment

  • Galaxy painting
  • Paint brushes
  • Reflection Questions (see downloads)

Materials

  • White cardstock, paper clips, string, toothpicks, yarn, binder clips, corks, scrap paper, clothes pins, cardboard, paper plates
  • Black lights (the link provided below is one option from which to order black lights)
  • Fluorescent paint (the link provided below is one option from which to order fluorescent paint)

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

  • Project NASA photographs of galaxies onto whiteboard:
  • Discuss the characteristics of galaxies using the Elements of Art and Principles of Design.
  • Compare and Contrast different types of galaxies.

Guiding Questions:

  • Look closely, What do you notice about these photographs?
  • What can we learn from them?
  • Using your background knowledge of galaxies, where is the light coming from?
  • Do you notice a pattern in the images?
  • How do you think these photographs were taken?
  • If you were asked to recreate this photograph as a painting what type of brushstrokes would you use? What color choices would you make?

Instructional Videos

Main Activity

PROCESS:

  • Students decide what type of Galaxy to paint.
  • Pass out materials for paint brushes.
  • Pass out White paper for paint.
  • Have black lights off, but accessible.

Part 1: Design Challenge

  • Introduce students to the Design process.
  • Students are instructed to choose a galaxy to represent in a painting based off of their knowledge and the NASA images. Give students time to brainstorm ideas on paper or in small groups.
  • Students are challenged to think about what kind of paintbrush they would need to create the specific brushstrokes to best represent their type of galaxy.
  • Students are presented with everyday materials and found/recycled objects.
  • Students may work alone or in small groups to create 3 paintbrushes each.
  • Allow approximately 15 minutes.

Instructional Videos

Part 2: Glowing Galaxy Painting

  • Distribute the black lights around the room.
  • Portion the neon paint onto paper plates. Distribute cups of water and paper towels.
  • Give each student a piece of paper.
  • Explain the process: Students will use their handmade paint brushes to create a galaxy.
  • Some paintbrushes may work better than others. The goal is to create a visual representation of a specific type of galaxy.
  • Turn off the overhead lights and turn on the blacklights.
  • What do you notice about the paint?
  • Allow approximately 25-30 minutes.

Instructional Videos

Reflection:

  • How did working in the black light inspire your work?
  • Which of your paintbrushes worked best and why?
  • How did you use problem solving skills to complete your painting?
  • Compare and contrast your painting viewed under black light and regular classroom lights.

Instructional Videos

Classroom Tips:

  • If carpeted room, put down drop cloths or newspaper for painting.
  • Room with no windows works great!

Reflection Questions

  • What brush worked the best? Why?
  • What did you change or improve on your brush while you were painting?
  • What object helped you create the effect you needed for your type of galaxy?

Differentiation

Below Grade Level/EL Students:

  • Lead students in a directed painting exercise. All students will be painting the same type of galaxy. Give students step by step instructions, including color suggestions and specific brushstrokes. The galaxy may be painted with a standard paintbrush.

Above Grade Level:

  • Ask students to pay close attention to the positive and negative space of the painting, noting the areas where the light shines the brightest. Ask students to visually define the specific characteristics of their galaxy painting. (i.e. Spiral galaxies are known for black holes, radiating arms and bulges.)

Additional Resources

Books

  • Our Solar System by Seymour Simon
  • A Trip through the Milky Way by Heather Moore Niver
  • Planetary Motion by Andrew P. Karam
  • The Planets [The definitive visual guide to our solar system] by Ben Morgan
  • Neptune by Ruth Owen
  • Uranus by Ruth Owen
  • Jupiter by Ruth Owen
  • Mars by Linda T. Elkins-Tanton
  • Mercury by L.H. Colligan

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Written Reflection Sheet
  • Photo examples of student work

Credits

Grade 6: Astronomy

Additional Resources

Instructional Videos

Books

  • Astronomy in the Real World by Susan E. Haman
  • Beyond the Solar System: Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets, and More: A History with 21 Activities by Mary Kay Carson
  • The Milky Way and Beyond: Stars, Nebulae, and Other Galaxies by Explorer’s Guide to the Universe/Erik Gregersen
  • Galaxies by Howard K. Trammel
  • 20 Fun Facts about Galaxies by Michael Sabatino
  • A Trip through the Milky Way by Heather Moore Niver
  • Our Solar System by Seymour Simon
  • A Trip through the Milky Way by Heather Moore Niver
  • Planetary Motion by Andrew P. Karam
  • The Planets [The definitive visual guide to our solar system] by Ben Morgan
  • Neptune by Ruth Owen
  • Uranus by Ruth Owen
  • Jupiter by Ruth Owen
  • Mars by Linda T. Elkins-Tanton
  • Mercury by L.H. Colligan
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Dynamic and engaging storytelling performances in schools this week! Ruby Bridges came to Oak Grove Elementary and a Cherokee Tribal Leader visited Jackson Elementary! Students experiencing the magic of storytelling...

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Dynamic and engaging storytelling performances in schools this week! Ruby Bridges came to Oak Grove Elementary and a Cherokee Tribal Leader visited Jackson Elementary! Students experiencing the magic of storytelling...
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Grade 6:
Circuitry

CIRCUITRY

Grade 6: Circuitry

Unit Description

In this arts integrated unit, students will use movement and the creation of human circuits to aid in the comprehension of the direct purposes of conductors, insulators and electric circuits. Students will be able to identify and articulate the two types of simple circuits (parallel & series) and how they work. Students will be actively engaged in the discovery of the upcycling movement. Students will design, sew, and create an outfit that contains a sewn circuit that lights up an LED. The culmination of the project will be a school-wide fashion show in which students will debut their wearable circuitry fashions.

Unit Essential Questions

  • How can dance/movement aid in the comprehension of conductors, insulators and electric circuits?
  • How can knowledge of the upcycle movement assist in the creation of wearable circuits?

Real World Context

The fundamental process that is used on an everyday basis in our daily lives to turn on and off light switches may be basic, however it is the idea of circuitry that we truly depend on. When a computer, television, or any other household electronic device is in use, circuitry is involved. Being able to understand the loop that is created in order for electricity to power such devices is important for students to understand as our world continues to depend on electricity.

Cross-Cutting Interdisciplinary Concepts

Relationships
Simple communication of ideas
Mutual integration of concepts

Table Of Contents

Project 1: Human Circuits
Project 2: Wearable Circuits

Standards

Curriculum Standards

S5P3. Students will investigate electricity, magnetism, and their relationship.

  1. Investigate static electricity.
  2. Determine the necessary components for completing an electric circuit.
  3. Investigate common materials to determine if they are insulators or conductors of electricity.

S8P5. Students will recognize characteristics of gravity, electricity, and magnetism as major kinds of forces acting in nature.

  1. Demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of series and parallel circuits and how they transfer energy.

National Standards:

MS-PS2-3. Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. [Clarification Statement: Examples of devices that use electric and magnetic forces could include electromagnets, electric motors, or generators. Examples of data could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet, or the effect of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor.]

Arts Standards

DMSPCR.1 Demonstrates an understanding of creative and choreographic principles, processes, and structures.

DMSPCR.2. Demonstrates an understanding of dance as a way to create and communicate meaning.

VA6MC.1. Engages in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas.

VA6MC.2. Identifies and works to solve visual problems through creative thinking, planning, and/or experimenting with art materials, tools, and techniques.

VA6CU.2. Investigates and discovers personal relationship to community, culture, and the world through making and studying art.

VA6PR.2. Creates artwork reflecting a range of concepts, ideas, and subject matter.

National Standards:

DA:Cr1.1.6.a. Relate similar or contrasting ideas to develop choreography using a variety of stimuli (for example, music, observed dance, literary forms, notation, natural phenomena, personal experience/recall, current news or social events).

Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
VA:Cr1.1.6a. Combine concepts collaboratively to generate innovative ideas for creating art.

Standard 4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
VA:Pr4.1.6a. Analyze similarities and differences associated with preserving and presenting two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and digital artwork.

Character Education

Components

The concept of how electricity moves fluidly via circuits is a perfect example of the concept of being a mindful student/human being.
Mindfulness helps us calm down, and thus, in turn, calms the amygdala, which allows the informational flow to the prefrontal cortex. (The part of our brain that helps us make decisions.) When we are mindful our brain uses a type of circuitry. The amygdala tries to protect us, but often mistakes stress for real threats and in turn stops the prefrontal cortex from getting the information it needs to help us make good choices. When the amygdala is calm, it gives the prefrontal cortex what it needs. The prefrontal cortex’s role is to help us figure things out in order to make well balanced choices. The prefrontal cortex also sends and retrieves memories to and from the hippocampus. When the amygdala is upset, the prefrontal cortex cannot help us. The hippocampus stores and recalls all of our memories. When the amygdala is upset, the hippocampus is unable to store memories or properly bring them to mind. Learning how to be a more mindful person will be useful in many aspects of our daily lives.

Attributes

Personal Responsibility

  • Being responsible for tasks that have been assigned.

Being Mindful

  • When we are able to be calm, we can easily make better choices.

Team Work

  • Having an open mind and being a good listener while working in a group situation.

Summative Assessments

  • Reflection Questions (both components): Students will use these questions to reflect on the important parts of the lessons. (See Downloads)
  • Parallel Circuit Dance/Movement: Students will show their understanding of elements of a parallel circuit through dance/movement.
  • Representations of Parallel & Series Circuits: Students will create representations of parallel and series circuits, identifying the parts that make up that circuit. Students could use any medium to demonstrate this knowledge. For example, poster, ThingLink, Google Presentation, etc.
  • Wearable Circuits Fashion Show: Students will assign roles within the group to produce a student run fashion show for their school community. Roles include: models, students will model the outfits in the “runway;” stylists, students that will get the clothing and models prepared for the “runway;” and an “MC,” a student who will introduce the models and the clothing to the audience.

Appendix (See Project Downloads)

  • Pre/Post Assessment
  • Written Reflection Sheet

Credits

ArtsNow, Inc. and Bear Creek Middle School, Barrow County School System
Ideas contributed and edited by: Ashley Bailey, Melissa Dittmar Joy, Shannon Green, Michele McClelland

Dance Component - Human Circuits

Science and Dance

Description

In this arts integrated unit, students will use movement and the creation of human circuits to aid in the comprehension of conductors, insulators and electric circuits.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Classify materials as conductors or insulators of electricity when placed within a circuit
  • Construct series and parallel circuits to demonstrate the flow of energy within a closed system

Essential Question(s)

  • How can dance/movement aid in the comprehension of conductors, insulators and electric circuits?

Curriculum Standards

S5P3. Students will investigate electricity, magnetism, and their relationship.

  1. Investigate static electricity.
  2. Determine the necessary components for completing an electric circuit.
  3. Investigate common materials to determine if they are insulators or conductors of electricity.

S8P5. Students will recognize characteristics of gravity, electricity, and magnetism as major kinds of forces acting in nature.

  1. Demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of series and parallel circuits and how they transfer energy.

National Standards

MS-PS2-3. Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. [Clarification Statement: Examples of devices that use electric and magnetic forces could include electromagnets, electric motors, or generators. Examples of data could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet, or the effect of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor.]

Arts Standards

DMSPCR.1. Demonstrates an understanding of creative and choreographic principles, processes, and structures.

DMSPCR.2. Demonstrates an understanding of dance as a way to create and communicate meaning.

National Standards

DA:Cr1.1.6.

  1. Relate similar or contrasting ideas to develop choreography using a variety of stimuli (for example, music, observed dance, literary forms, notation, natural phenomena, personal experience/recall, current news or social events).

Content Vocabulary

  • Resistor
  • Conductor
  • Insulator
  • Wire
  • Energy source
  • Closed circuit
  • Open circuit
  • Series circuit
  • Parallel circuit
  • Current
  • Ohm’s Law (extension)

Arts Vocabulary

  • Levels: This is one of the aspects of the movement element space. In dance there are 3 basic levels: high, middle and low.

Technology Integration

  • Green Screen
  • Video Camera
  • iMovie or other video editing software with green screen capabilities

Formative Assessment

  • Observe students correctly “building” circuit types.
  • Observe students correctly identifying circuit types and components.

Summative Assessment

  • Students show their understanding of elements of a parallel circuit through dance/movement.
  • Reflection Questions (see Downloads)

Materials

Music, music player, camera, green screen, video editing software, Elements of Circuits Index Cards (see Downloads)

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

  • Set up parameters for acceptable movement choices.
  • Discuss audience behavior/etiquette.
  • Students will participate in The Name Game.
  • Have the group form a circle.
  • Pick a person to go first and have them say their name while making a movement or gesture to accompany their name. (Examples: using your hands and figures to create a heart, using jazz hands, doing a curtsy…)
  • The circle then collectively repeats the person's name and gesture.
  • Continue with the next person stating their name and making a gesture.
  • The circle repeats the new person's name and gesture.
  • Then, starting with the person of origin, repeat all the names and gestures shared to that point.
  • Continue until everyone in the circle is included.

Main Activity

Part 1:

  • As a large group, play “Pass the Movement:”
    1. Gather students in a circle. Students will choose a movement that transfers energy, they gather the energy and send it out to another person, sending the energy…Throwing a ball and the person next to them catches the ball. Or kicking a ball, or a person using their arms in a volleyball hitting gesture, etc.)
    2. Begin with the student to your right. About halfway through the circle go ahead and allow the movement to be passed either to the left or the right. Their movement energizes the next person after they get the feeling of what is being passed.
    3. Lastly, the students choose a movement and pass their energy to anyone in the circle. As an extension, have students add examples insulators and conductors to Pass the Movement as a valuable review.
  • Discuss different types of circuits and the parts needed to build the circuit.
  • Explore building human electrical circuits.
  • Break students into groups.
  • Assign roles for each element of a circuit by passing out the Elements of Circuits Index Cards (see Downloads)
  • In groups, students will create a dancing circuit utilizing all the necessary components.
  • Students will perform for the whole group.
  • Audience will identify circuit type and which dancer(s) were representing each component.

Part 2:

  • Students will receive feedback of group performance from the audience using the Glow & Grow Feedback Form. (see Downloads)
  • The teacher will compile the feedback for the groups from the Glow & Grow Feedback Forms.
  • Each group will look at the feedback forms and polish their dance to make it more clear for the audience.
  • Each group will select music to dance to (instrumental music is encouraged).
  • Each group will film the dance in front of the green screen.
  • Groups will upload their video to iMovie and select a background image to represent their idea for their parallel circuit dance.
  • Videos will be presented to an audience (online, in person, etc.) (See Additional Resources for video examples of student work.)

Reflective Questions

  • Identify the elements of a circuit that appeared in your dance. How did the movement relate to the element of the circuit?
  • What happens to the flow of electricity if the circuit is not complete? How do you know? Does it matter where the break in the circuit is?

Additional Resources

Books

  • Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery by Charles Platt
  • Electronics for Kids: Play with Simple Circuits and Experiment with Electricity! by Oyvind Nydal Dahl
  • DK Eyewitness Books: Electricity Hardcover by Steve Parker

Websites

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Elements of Circuits Index Cards
  • Glow & Grow Feedback Form
  • Reflection Questions

Credits

Visual Arts Component - Glowing Galaxies Design Challenge

Science and Visual Arts

Description

In this arts integrated component, students will create a visual representation of a glowing galaxy using paintbrushes that they create from everyday materials. Students will identify three types of galaxies found in our universe. Students will also describe the shapes and colors of these galaxies, understanding the reasons behind the shape and color of the galaxy.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Classify materials as conductors or insulators of electricity when placed within a circuit
  • Identify the evidence of energy transformations that occur in electrical circuits
  • Explain electrical energy as the movement of electrons
  • Construct basic electric circuits
  • Determine if a circuit is open or closed
  • Define and identify basic circuit elements and their symbols: battery, wire, resistor, and bulb
  • Differentiate between series and parallel circuits
  • Work with a team to create an upcycled outfit
  • Map out a working circuit on paper
  • Use a LilyPad Arduino to sew working circuits into my fashions

Essential Questions

  • How does an electric circuit work?
  • How does energy travel along a circuit?
  • What makes a good design?
  • How do technology and the fashion world intersect?

Curriculum Standards

S8P5. Students will recognize characteristics of gravity, electricity, and magnetism as major kinds of forces acting in nature.

  1. Demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of series and parallel circuits and how they transfer energy.

S5P3. Students will investigate electricity, magnetism, and their relationship.

  1. Determine the necessary components for completing an electric circuit.

Arts Standards

VA6MC.1. Engages in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas.

VA6MC.2. Identifies and works to solve visual problems through creative thinking, planning, and/or experimenting with art materials, tools and techniques.

VA6CU.2. Investigates and discovers personal relationship to community, culture, and the world through making and studying art.

VA6PR.2. Creates artwork reflecting a range of concepts, ideas, and subject matter.

National Standards:

Visual Arts

Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. VA:Cr1.1.6a. Combine concepts collaboratively to generate innovative ideas for creating art.

Standard 4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation. VA:Pr4.1.6a. Analyze similarities and differences associated with preserving and presenting two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and digital artwork.

Content Vocabulary

  • Resistor
  • Conductor
  • Insulator
  • Closed circuit
  • Open circuit
  • Series circuit
  • Parallel circuit
  • Current
  • Ohm’s Law (extension)

Arts Vocabulary

  • Upcycling: when an old item that was intended for one purpose is turned into something new
  • LilyPad Arduino: a microcontroller used to build circuits
  • Conductive thread: stainless steel thread that conducts electricity
  • LED: a light-emitting diode (LED) is a two-lead semiconductor light source

Technology Integration

  • ThingLink
  • Google Presentation
  • PowerPoint on smartboard (see downloads)
  • Sewing machines in Makerspace
  • 3D printer
  • LilyPad Arduino or LilyTwinkle

Formative Assessment

  • Students will check in with their design plan throughout their process.
  • Students will trouble shoot circuits that are not working using their knowledge of circuitry and the nature of electricity.

Summative Assessment

  • Student-created representations of parallel and series circuits identifying the parts that make up that circuit. Students could use any medium to demonstrate this knowledge. For example: poster, ThingLink, Google Presentation, etc.
  • Students will assign roles within the group to produce a student-run fashion show for their school community. Roles include: models, students who will model the outfits on the “runway;” stylists, students who will get the clothing and models prepared for the “runway;” and an “MC,” a student who will introduce the models and the clothing to the audience.

Materials

  • A big pile of clothing to be upcycled! (This can be sourced from your classroom and school community.) LilyPad Arduino or LilyTwinkle https://www.sparkfun.com/; conductive thread, basic sewing supplies for non-conductive areas, scissors, assorted thread, needles in various sizes, glue gun, pins

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

Main Activity

Part 1:

  • Discuss types of circuits.
  • Discuss elements of each type of circuit.
  • Illustrate a circuit.

Part 2:

  • Students will work within a design team to develop a brand identity and concept for their collection. The collection must tell a story. This line of questioning will help students to develop a design plan.
  • Who is the character that will be wearing your outfit?
  • In what setting is your look being worn?
  • What mood does your outfit portray?
  • What story does your collection tell?
  • Introduce the materials available for upcycling and allow time for groups to sketch and experiment.
  • Introduction to E textiles is a great attachment that provides useful tips for teachers. (See Downloads)

Part 3:

  • Ask teams to map out the path of the circuit components onto their design sketch, labeling the positive and negative paths. This will serve as a sewing guide.
  • Introduce basic sewing techniques and tools including sewing machines if available.
  • Make it work! Encourage students to create their upcycled outfits outlined in their design plan.
  • Post the design thinking chart to encourage students to redesign and troubleshoot if needed.
  • This will take several sessions. Encourage students to give each other feedback and stay flexible. This is the fun part!

Part 4:

  • Plan a Fashion Show for the grade level or the school community.

Reflection Questions

  • In modern homes, do you think parallel or series circuits are used? Explain your reasoning.
  • Does your collection reflect your brand and story?
  • What role did teamwork play in your project?
  • Were you flexible with your vision? If so, how did your collection change?
  • What did you learn about circuits that you did not know before?
  • What surprised you about the project?

Differentiation

Accelerated

Remedial:

Additional Resources

Books

  • Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery by Charles Platt
  • Electronics for Kids: Play with Simple Circuits and Experiment with Electricity! by Oyvind Nydal Dahl
  • DK Eyewitness Books: Electricity Hardcover by Steve Parker

Video examples of student work

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Circuits-Upcycle PowerPoint
  • The Design Thinking Process
  • Introduction to E-textiles
  • Written Reflection Sheet

Credits

Grade 6: Circuitry

Additional Resources

Books

  • Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery by Charles Platt
  • Electronics for Kids: Play with Simple Circuits and Experiment with Electricity! by Oyvind Nydal Dahl
  • DK Eyewitness Books: Electricity Hardcover by Steve Parker

Websites

Video Examples of Student Work
Photo Examples of Student Work

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