The art & music departments had just received a cart full of iPads that our tech guy unpacked for them, leaving a pile of cardboard boxes behind (his office is in the media center). I was going to put them in the recycle bin, but then I stopped to examine looked one box and became fascinated with all the flaps and the idea that it could fold back with ease. That got me thinking that I had to save these boxes for the makerspace and surely we could do something with these iPad boxes.
A few days after that one of the second grade teachers and I have been collaborating a lot this year talked to me about doing another project to wrap up her Jan Brett author study after she read Honey, Honey, Lion!to her class. When we started talking we realized that we wanted to include some sort of art project and have the students work with partners. Then it hit me – use the iPad boxes! They were the perfect size, and all the flaps gave delineated areas for students to identify the setting as well as the main & secondary characters and the problem/solution, and a written explanation of their favorite part of the book- all elements that are found in our 2nd grade ELA standards.
On Jan Brett’s website, we found characters from the Honey, Honey, Lion! book that we were able to copy and randomly distribute to the students. We also copied a few background elements and these, along with the animals would be colored ahead of time in the classroom. Once the students arrived in the media center, we had tempura paint, paintbrushes we borrowed from the art teachers, Q-tips, paper plates for the paint palette, glue sticks and plastic tablecloths leftover from the book fair. We had a sample box prepared – but only with the colors we suggested for each section. That was the only limit on their imagination. They were encouraged to cooperatively sketch and paint the setting (the largest area on the box) and the animals and background pieces could be added as needed for the other areas.
The students were so excited to paint in the media center! They were having collaborative discussions while actively working to complete their story box. There was only one incident of paint on the floor – our new carpeting – but a quick dab with a wet paper towel and everything was a-okay!
The second graders worked for a solid 45 minutes and everyone completed their story boxes. They were so proud of their hard work and so were we! Here's a peek at some of the completed story boxes:
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