Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Time Machine

My theme for this year is Art History: Prehistoric through Renaissance. I'm using a lot of visuals from my mentor teacher but I really wanted to put my own spin on things so I am starting the year off by doing a lesson about time travel. To prepare for this lesson, I read H. G. Wells The Time Machine, and I watched the movie The Time Machine...and I just thought about how to incorporate everything all summer long.

Around the 2nd week of summer I decided that in order to incorporate time travel with prehistoric art, it would be necessary to build a time machine sculpture...and challenge my students to design their own machine. Here it is in all its glory...with a LOT of help, and planning over the summer it finally came to life this week. It is really hard to photograph...because of the lighting, most of the special effects and the plasma ball 'flux capacitor' look better in dim lighting...but you can see the basic components....and appreciate something made out of all the junk that can be randomly found in my  basement...with a few lucky things from a friend's farm.

 Actually, this is the sort of thing that can probably only be fully appreciated in person....from a child's perspective....with a little bit of magic. But I thought it was worth sharing here because I've had a few people request to see it.

Next week I will be installing a cave in my classroom....and between now and Christmas, we will study Egyptian, Roman and Greek art.

Flux Capacitor in all its glory.
Shot taken in the dark so you can see the ground effects.
My lesson today went pretty well. I explained that we would be traveling back through time to study art....but I let students design any sort of time machine they could imagine and then place it in an environment either in the future or the past. There was no wrong way to create the fantasy world or the machine, it was up to them to be creative and use their imaginations.

I am really excited for this year!!


Hope Hunter Knight said...

wow! that's really cool, and exciting for the kids.

Josie Mai said...

Magnificent! Kids will graduate from high school remembering that machine because it was the wackiest, shiniest, and biggest thing they've ever seen in their K-12 classrooms. AND they will remember art history as cool and important. Way to go, Mitchells!

Anonymous said...

LOVE it Nellie! Can't wait to see the cave. So fun! Makes me want to be a student in your class. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my! This is OUTRAGEOUSLY cool. I can't even imagine what your students' reactions when you fire that thing up.