Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cardboard Challenge: A Valentine's Day BOX Project!

While researching information about passion projects and genius hour this week, I stumbled upon a video called "Caine's Arcade".  Apparently I've been living under a rock because Caine is a sweet kiddo who turned into an Internet sensation this year after he designed a cardboard arcade in his father's used car parts store and garnered attention from a remarkable man named Nirvan who became Caine's first customer, orchestrated a flash mob to bring more customers to Caine's arcade, set up a scholarship fund for him, and turned the story into a heart-warming short film.  I am pretty much a sucker for uplifting stories like this.  If you haven't watched it yet, I highly recommend watching the two part story before reading the rest of this post.  Consider it prerequisite knowledge.  ;)




What a smart little cookie!  The amount of creativity, innovation, and passion Caine poured into his business was awe-inspiring, and my gears immediately started to turn after watching his story.  I wondered, "How could WE do something like THAT in our classroom?"  Then it came to me.  This would be a great way to infuse creativity, creative thinking, a dash of engineering, and procedural report writing into our Valentine's Day fun!  I shared the idea with my own fourth grade kiddos on Thursday after they asked if they would get to do Valentine's Day Box Book Reports again this year, and their excitement was off the charts!  Several students asked me if I had everything organized on Friday, and they began to share some of their ideas with me.  Since they are getting so excited about this, I figured, I should probably get to work A.S.A.P.  I don't want to disappoint, and that's what helped spur Cardboard Challenge: A Valentine's Day BOX Project into existence!  

Essentially, I want this Valentine's Day box to be different than every other box my students have ever made.  I don't want it to be just another pretty box in pretty packaging.  I want them to create something very "UNBOXLIKE" and "OUT OF THE BOX"  out of BOXES... and other miscellaneous art supplies and disposables.   Then, I want them to write a procedural report sharing how they created their cardboard creations! In some ways, it reminds me of the Whatchamacallit Workshop from my Engineering Unit... but with a Valentine's Day spin and a writing component.  Here are some of the ideas my students developed in the past.  All of the examples were created in class from scraps that students brought from home, but you could certainly choose whether you wanted to complete it in class or send it home to be completed there.  You can definitely tell the difference in the leprechaun traps and Valentine's Box Book Reports I sent home with my kiddos.  They have a little more polish, but I LOVE the creativity of the whatchamacallits nonetheless. 




The BIG parameters that exist for this project are outlined below.  They are pretty straightforward and still allow for creativity!  

1.  Creations must be able to hold valentines, so it should have some kind of cavity to store them.  It should have some kind of hold, flap, door, etc.  It must be practical enough to serve that purpose without destroying the "invention" to retrieve valentines.

2.   It must be a reasonable size so it can be brought to school and taken home on the bus, if needed.

3.  It should incorporate simple machines into the design to make it more sophisticated, encourage critical thinking, and again, should encourage students to go beyond simply decorating a box.  It's more about CREATING than DECORATING. 

I am so excited to share this project with you, and I CANNOT WAIT to do it my with fourth grade kiddos.  I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with and sharing LOTS of photos with you in February too!  In the meantime, if you're looking for a fun way to engaged kiddos in some higher level thinking this February, the file is available HERE.  :)  I  also have a TON of links that I plan on sharing with my kiddos on my Engineering for Kids board, if you're interested in checking them out! 
Have a great weekend!









13 comments:

  1. Lordy is this ever an amazing idea! Kudos to you for taking this wonderful boy's idea and seeing the potential for your students.

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    1. Thank you! I can't wait to get started! I just KNOW my kiddos are going to blow me away with creativity!

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  2. Thanks for sharing this inspiring video.

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    1. You're welcome! Isn't it so incredible!?

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  3. LOVE THIS IDEA! I do a simulated post office event with my kiddos for Valentine's Day and they are responsible for creating their own mailboxes for that day.

    You teach gifted students too, right? I do as well. They go bonkers for this event every year. :)

    Tanya

    http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Valentines-Day-Post-Office-Simulation-Pack-for-Grades-3-5-COMMON-CORE-ALIGNED-1031003

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I teach third and fourth grade gifted clusters that contain some non-identified students too. (About half of each class is identified.) I love your idea too. Sounds like fun.

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  4. Awesome! You've got some great future engineers there.:)

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  5. I'm in LOVE with this idea! I have seen the first video before, but I haven't thought about doing a corresponding project. This is too perfect for Valentine's Day! I will be doing this with my fourth grade class, too! Thank you for being such a creative, inspiring teacher! :)

    PS - Just showed a few of my kiddos a sneak preview of your students' boxes and they think it's a "tremendous" idea! (Their words precisely!) I guess that means we will definitely be doing this!

    Stephanie
    Fourth Grade Shenanigans

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