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SmartSpace@NIU Lesson Plans

Creative Creatures

Get inspired by looking at a children’s story about an imaginative creature like Where the Wild Things Are or a Dr. Seuss story. Students will then create their own creatures using a drawing program. Students can also use the craft materials provided and take pictures of their creations with a digital camera. They can create a series of at least five images that tell a story about the creature in the rhyming style of Dr. Seuss. Students can work in groups to collaborate on stories. Google docs can be used to accomplish this task. If time allows, turn the story into a digital slideshow and share with peers via a social media tool.

Mood Jars

Students look at the work of contemporary artists Diana Lynn Thompson and Heather Holloman and then contribute to a digital collaborative sculptural installation of jars filled with objects representing emotions. Students examine their food intake and also journal emotions related to nutrition to better understand the importance of good nutrition.

Designing Alien Lifeforms and Their Worlds

Through a series of lessons, students are introduced to concepts regarding the biology and physiology of living organisms, space, gravity, and travel in space.

Lesson 1: Unusual Creatures and Their Environments

Students are introduced to concepts regarding biology and physiology of living organisms, space, gravity, and space travel. Students look at artwork depicting imaginative alien life forms and worlds. Students discuss why the aliens have certain features, possibly for protection, to survive in their environment, or to catch prey. Students also discuss possible atmospheres and planet surfaces and habitats of the creatures and worlds.

Lesson 2: Traveling to a Foreign Planet

Students discuss space travel, watch video clips from physicists, analyze spaceship diagrams, and construct their own shock-absorbing system for a space craft.

Lesson 3: Creating Creatures and Worlds

Students work in groups to create their own unique creatures and world by considering scientific concepts, such as a species, physical and behavioral characteristics, planet atmosphere/climate/weather, planet systems, etc.

Creature Buggers

Lesson 4: Creature Story

Students work in groups to write a story about their creatures and worlds.