Monday, June 15, 2015

The Making of a Historical Diorama

The study of World War II is full of battles-important battles. Middle school students do not need a thorough knowledge of every battle, but they do like studying them. I decided to assign each student to study one battle. They chose their battles and did a fairly complete study of each battle. Then the fun began.

Each child had to re-create the battle scene; they also had to write a report and share their battle orally with the rest of the students. I have to tell you that I had some fabulous battle scenes-thanks to a few great ideas.

Need water? Try using hair gel! This bottle of blue-colored hair gel was used in more than one war scene. It worked well and looked fairly real!
Simple styling gel
You can see how good it looks here!
Other students used plastic to represent the water. Not as realistic but less messy and it still works.

A third idea? Paint the box with blue paint. It isn't fancy, but ot worked really well!

Need seashores? How about using candy? I believe the first battle scene used Nerds.

This one used a rockier look! Nerds again!

Most of the landmasses were created by the age-old flour, salt and water dough but they were pretty creative with the food coloring and plastic men!

If you look closely, you will see ships from Battleship games, houses from Monopoly, sticks from the school ground and even little army men. They also used clay and, well, just about any thing they could find. 

On the last day of the project, they brought their projects to school to share. They loved sharing their projects and learning about all the battles.

On a post from Edutopia, a student said:"Whenever I do a project, I always seem to remember the material better than if I just read the information straight out of a testbook." What wonderful projects have you used in your classroom?

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