Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ocean Dioramas!

We have been learning about different animal habitats the last week or so. I had my students make a flip book for the land habitats we studied (forgot to photograph!). The front had a detailed illustration of the habitat. When you opened it, the top had a detailed description of the habitat, and the bottom included at least two animals found there. They turned out cute.

Now, I am not going to lie. I have almost zero motivation with it being the last week of school. I am also trying to get my room all packed up because I am moving out of the basement and into a room with windows next year (outa the "dungeon!"). But at the very last minute (like, as in, last night), something in me decided that we should do an ocean diorama with homemade play dough! We read and discussed fresh and salt water habitats, compared and contrasted, etc. Then we made our ocean dioramas. I will say it took a lot of time and A. LOT. OF. PATIENCE. But my kiddos really enjoyed it and were so proud and excited of their work.

Here are a couple of their creations. They made sponges, an octopus, a sting ray, an eel, and a starfish with the play dough. Some of their animals turned out rather large :)  I do know that when I do this again, I do not need to make or give them as much play dough as I did. Learning experience for me!

They molded the play dough into animals and put them on a sheet of cardstock first. We let them dry about 30 minutes or so, but they were not hardened yet. They painted with water colors on the soft-ish dough and it worked out just fine! **The play dough will harden over night** It was a fun project for the kids... made for a tired teacher though! :)


I made 2 1/2 batches of  the following recipe for 23 kids. I think 1 1/2 or 2 batches would be PLENTY.

         -2 c. flour
         -1 c. salt
         -4 tsp. cream of tartar (VERY important ingredient!)
         -2 tbs. oil
         -2 c. water

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Put on stove at med. heat and stir. Play dough will begin to harden and stick to spoon. When dough is in a ball aroud spoon, remove from heat and let cool. Knead when cool enough to handle. Place in ziploc bag when cool. Do not use food coloring in dough.

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