Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rube Goldberg Bulletin Board

Every year I peruse the teacher forums to see the new and old ideas for creating classroom themes and beginning-of-the-year bulletin boards. The two places I check out are and Bulletin Board Ideas (although I got banned from last year for posting a link to this blog... apparently you're not supposed to do that. But I they still let me read their content anonymously). Invariably I see teachers sharing their classroom themes of "Animals" and "Sports" and "Cooking", as well as a bunch of others that didn't seem to have anything to do with the content of the year. They are themes that are generated by self-interest (which is great) or overused puns (which can be both cute and boring). My thought though is that if we're going to create themes that are disconnected to the year's content, then why not think totally out of the box?

Time To Think Out Of The Box

Why not go with a "cyborg dragon" theme, or a "zombies in space" theme? Or even "Cyborg Dragon Zombies In Space" theme?

The past few years, in keeping with the tradition of welcome bulletin board and themes having nothing to do with content, I've been using this Rube Goldberg Cartoon: 

To make this welcome back bulletin board:
The instructions of this machine (on the right side of the board) where hidden with construction paper, and the students worked together in pairs to figure out what this board did, and how each step worked. To get them even more excited about this, I showed them some famous Rube Goldberg machines:

After telling them that a Rube Goldberg machine is a very complicated machine that does one, simple task, I ask them to identify the simple task that each of these machines do.

They're able to figure out the Ok Go machine easily enough (shoot paintball guns), but the Honda machine takes them some time to figure out. Some say, "turn on the radio." Others say, "make the car move." But eventually they get to the actual point of the machine- pulling down the sign.

And then I set them loose with a clipboard and a pencil to  figure out the bulletin board's function as well as each piece of the machine:

This year though I want to try something different. This year I want to try to combine the Rube Goldberg idea (using a different machine) with something that ties into what we actually will be studying. I'll be making it next week, so stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...