Introduction: Tinkercad Foodimal Assignment
Normally I work with elementary and high school students in different after-school and extra curricular activities. Since we are all distance learning now I don't get to see or interact with my elementary kiddos much, but I wanted to make this assignment doable for any age. I was only able to test it with my siblings and some high school students. I would love to hear how this project went with younger kids if you decide to try it!
- Some willing students who like animals and/or food
Or if you do not have access or enough time to complete a tinkercad version, each lesson could easily be transfered to paper and markers.
Step 1: The Assignment
For my test assignment I wanted to keep it relatively simple,so I instructed everyone to pick an animal and a food to combine into a "foodimal". In the process I asked that they find some interesting facts about both the animal and food. For an extra challenge I asked them to use an endangered animal to help introduce it to others who might not know about it. Or for them to combine the animal with the food it eats, hoping this will be new information to some and let us know a little more about where this animal lives and how it survives. I had them send me their finals however they found best. In the future I would recommend making a shared powerpoint (google docs) where everyone can make a slide for their "foodimal"and add their facts around it. I liked this format the best because it gave much better spacing and helped the piece to flow a little better. In the next step I have outlined ways to expand upon this basic idea and how to adjust for different grade levels or learning experiences.
Step 2: Variations
Elementary- I would have elementary pick one of their favorite animals and favorite foods. This could double as a little bit of a get to know you presentation too, letting your class get to know each other through their favorite things as well as giving them some practice speaking in front of larger groups.
Alternatively let the kids buddy up and one picks the food, one picks the animal.
Middle- Have the kids pick an endangered animal to get to know and combine with a food. Have them present their animals to each other to learn about different lesser known species.
Have them pick a dish that means something special to them, a cultural dish or something they make with someone special.
Turn both these options into a "knowledge faire" of sorts, having each student create a small booth or display to showcase different animals or different cultures. Use the foodimals as a mascot for each spot and invite other grades or classes to come and peruse. This allows other students to learn about different topics as well as giving your kids practice talking and presenting to others.
High- Have kids pick an animal and a food dish such as tacos, pizza, or spaghetti and have them provide animal facts as well as a recipe for the food. To go a little farther, or for a cooking class have them make their animal for real out of that food.
Make posters of endangered animals. Combine endangered animals with their food sources and include them and some facts in some informational posters to bring attention to these animals and how we can help them.
Language Learning-Any of the above could also be used in a language learning class, to help students learn the words for both animals, foods and some describing words to go with them. Ending the project with each student presenting their "foodimal" with their facts in the class' target language. The class could then create a wordbank of the newly learned words, or hang up some of the pictures around the room or in a display case with some main words highlighted or with translations underneath.
If your school is not 1:1 internet devices, these assignments could also be done as drawings that could then be hung up around school, outside classrooms, on lockers etc.
Step 3: Example 1
My youngest participant was my sister, a high school freshman. She sent me her final of a Bee and a Lemon in an email.
Step 4: Example 2
My other sister, a junior created a powerpoint slide with a Mango and a Koala combined.
Step 5: Example 3
One of my high schoolers, a senior, created a simple document with a Sea Turtle and a Doughnut combined
Step 6: Summary
My students liked that the software was super easy to use and easy to find tutorials on how to use different aspects. They also enjoyed the concept and all learned a lot about different animals and foods. I really enjoyed seeing the different ideas they came up with and how they decided to combine them.
Fourth Prize in the
Distance Learning with Tinkercad Contest