Wondermind is about Science, Art, and Alice in Wonderland. It’s hard to describe this enchanting site, which just got nominated for a Webby Award in the Youth category. I recommend that you visit the site, play the delightful games, and learn about the brain and its perceptions. You will be enchanted.
Imagine: How Creativity Works is the title of a new book by Jonah Lehrer. In this short video by Flash Rosenberg, the main idea of the book is summarized in an entertaining use of live-drawing. I first found out about this video on Free Tech 4 Teachers, and immediately showed it to my 5th graders, who are currently working on their Genius Hour projects. It’s a great way to justify my refusal to give them the answers immediately when they encounter obstacles, and it’s a much better explanation than that I am just being a lazy teacher!
Drawminos is a website that allows you to choose from some “Favorites”, allowing you to drop a ball, and to see the shape created by the toppled dominoes. The part that I think will engage many students, though, is the “Create” part, in which you can design your own shape to be revealed once the ball is rolled. It takes some planning and patience to arrange the dominoes how you would like in order to achieve your final design. Once done, though, you can save your design online, and receive a URL for its specific location. This could be a great way to introduce a topic, or to have students integrate their learning, their creativity, and their understanding of Physics!
The History for Music Lovers channel on YouTube has a lot of videos of historical figures and moments set to popular songs. The one I use with my students is “Gutenberg“, the lyrics of which are sung to the tune of “Sunday Girl” by Blondie. For those students who don’t really care to read history from a book and are musically inclined, this is a great way to get their attention. (As usual, before presenting videos to students, please preview them to make sure they are appropriate for that age group!) This is also a great idea for students who are interested in finding another way to present their own research. It beats a PowerPoint presentation!
According to the Origami Resource Center, Puzzle Purses have been around for centuries in several different cultures. In Victorian times, they became a Valentine tradition. You can find specific directions, along with diagrams, for folding your own puzzle purse, here. As an additional challenge, your students can also create the poetry that goes inside.