Let's Build Equipment for Elementary Science
by Ina M. Borman and Helen M. Douglass
Published by The Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia
Prepared and Issued by The Department of Biology, with the cooperation of the Division of Education
Editor: John Breukelman, Department of Biology
Editorial Committee: Ina M. Borman, Robert F. Clarke, Helen M. Douglass, Gilbert A. Leisman, Carl W. Prophet, Dixon Smith
Online edition by: Terri Weast
THE COVER PICTURE shows a group of sixth graders - Kenneth Andrews, Billy Woody, and Gary Cole - wiring up an electric question board (page 11). They are supervised by Hiroshi Honma, student teacher in Thomas W. Butcher Children's School, on the Emporia State campus.
The Kansas School Naturalist is sent upon request, free of charge to any citizen of Kansas.
The Kansas School Naturalist is published in October, December, February, and April of each year by The Kansas State Teachers College, Twelfth Avenue and Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas. Seeond-class mail privileges authorized at Emporia, Kansas.
Let's Build Equipment
Many elementary teachers haye said that they lack experience in making science equipment. They need practical help so that they ean guide girls and boys in making and using the everyday things needed in elementarv science classes.
This issue of The Kansas School Naturalist is devoted to equipment that can be made by the teacher or by the pupils, or by teacher and pupils working together. Much of the subject matter for which the equipment is used deals with plant and animal life, air, earth, and sky. Many simple pieces of equipment can be made in the elementary classroom and used to promote interest in the field and to challenge children's curiosity. Some of the suggestions are simple and some more detailed. You will have to be selective as to the ones usable in your particular situation.
All of the pieces described have been made in classrooms and found to be appropriate for elementary science. You may want to modify some of the procedures; this is to be expected. The main idea is "let's make some of this equipment." Of course the descriptions in this issue are only a sampling of what can be done. The suggested books and leaflets listed on page 15 may give you many other ideas.
- aquarium or large glass jar
- water plants, such as Elodea, Cabomba, or Sagittaria
- potassium permanganate
- fish, snails
Wash the sand by stirring it about in water, changing the water until it remains clear when stirred.
To kill any harmful bacteria or fungi on the aquarium plants, place the plants in a pan of water containing a few drops of potassinm permanganate solution or a few crystals of potassium permanganate, enough to produce a light wine color in the water. Leave the plants in this water for a half hour or so.
After the sand has been washed, put it into the clean aquarium or jar. If a piece of brown wrapping is laid on the sand before pouring in the water, the sand will not be disturbed as the water is poured in. It is most convenient to put only about four or five inches of water in the aquarium, then set the plants in place before the adding the rest of the water. Until the plants are well rooted, it may be necessary to anchor them down with small stones. Allow the water to stand about 24 hours after planting, then add the fish and snails.
An old "rule of thumb" is to add one inch of fish per gallon of water; another is to add one inch of fish for each 12 square inches of water surface. Plenty of snails help to keep the aquarium clean. Do not set the aquarium in direct sunlight; a north window is an excellellt place. Cloudy water usuallv indicates overfeeding, too few plants, or too many fish.
Children get first hand experience in caring for aquarium life; they also become acquainted with the habitat, structures, and feeding habits of water animals.
- gallon jar with lid, or aquarium with pane of glass to cover it
- plants and animals
Cover the bottom of the container with an inch layer of charcoal. This keeps the soil sweet. Add about two inches of rich soil, and water so that the soil is damp but not soaking wet. Set out plants, placing taller plants near the back. You may use such plants as small violets, petunias, mosses, and various yard and garden weeds. Earthworms and small toads are suitable terrarium animals. When both plants and animals have been placed in the terrarium, put on the lid or pane of glass.
Since the terrarium is a miniature greenhouse, children may note changes of temperature inside; they can also see condensation of moisture on the walls of the container. They can study plant and animal life under terrarium conditions.
- cake pan, oblong, 1 to 2 inches deep
- vegetable oil
- plaster of Paris
If a gallon (or larger) jar is used for a terrarium, and the jar is laid on its side, it becomes necessary to have a stand for the jar to prevent it from rolling off a table or window sill.
Oil an oblong cake pan with vegetable oil. Pour into the pan a plaster of Paris mixture. When the mixture begins to solidify, press thc oiled jar into the plaster of Paris. Remove the jar. When the plaster of Paris has completely dried, remove it carefully from the cake pan. You now have a mold which will support the jar. Felt may be glued to the bottom of this mold as a protection to polished surfaces.
WOOD FRAME CONTAINER
- two pieces of wood, 12 x 3 x 1/2 inches
- two pieces of wood, 10 x 3 x 1/2 inches
- two pieces of glass, 13 x 9 1/2 inches
- hammer and nails
- brace and bit
- black paper
- screen, and cork or stopper
Have the four pieces of wood grooved 1/4 inch from each side of the wood. The measurements must be accurate because the grooves must match. The grooves can be made at a lumber yard or the school shop.
Nail the bottom and two sides together. Now fit the two pieces of glass into the matched grooves in the wooden frame. Then add the last piece of grooved wood for the top of the frame. This board should have two holes bored in it - one near each end. These holes must have a fine piece of screen over one and a cork or stopper in the other.
You are now ready to collect the ants. Select an ant hill and with a sharp-shooter dig down into the middle of the hill. Try to get the queen ant (larger than the others), workers, and eggs or larvae. Place a suitable amount of soil and ants in the container; leave about two inches of space above the soil. The screencovered hole provides air, and food and water can be added through the stoppered hole.
If you want the ants to make their tunnels against the glass, place black paper on the outside of the glass, completely covering it. From time to time, the paper may be removed and the ant tunnels observed.
GLASS JAR CONTAINER
- gallon (or larger) jar, with lid
- black paper screen
Collect ants, as described above. Before putting the lid on the jar it should have some holes punched in it and a piece of screen fitted inside it. This is to admit air and to prevent the ants from escaping. Wrap the jar with black paper.
Do not put ant colonies in direct sunlight, especially not the glass jar type. Keep the soil slightly moist, but not wet.
Ant colony containers illustrate the habitat and life habits of ants, and give children first hand in caring for the animals.
CAGES FOR INSECTS AND SPIDERS
- cardboard box
- small branch
To make an inexpensive insect or spider cage, obtain a cardboard box. Cut out each side and end, leaving at least two inches along each corner for strength and for fastening the screen. Place the screen on the inside of the box, fitting it to each side and end. Fasten in place by putting staples close enough to each other so that the screen does not buckle away from the cardboard. A small branch should be fastened in the cage to provide a natural habitat for some types insects. Caterpillars may spin their cocoons on the branch. Spiders may use the branch for anchoring webs.
PAN AND SCREEN
- two round cake pans or pie tins
- wire or staples
- plaster of Paris
- small branch
Make a eylinder of the screen, of the right size to fit into the pans or pie tins to be used. Overlap the edges of the screen and fasten with wire or staples.
Make a mixture of water and plaster of Paris and pour into one of the pans. At the point of solidification, press the screen cylinder into the plaster of Paris; also insert the branch into the plaster of Paris, in the position it is to oceupy after the plaster hardens.
Use the other pan to put on top of the cylinder, to serve as a lid. Modifications of this type of container can be made by using different shapes and sizes of pans.
Small containers which children can take with them on a field can be made from pint ice cream cartons, or other similar containers.
Insects and spiders can be seen at close range; although the animals are in captivity, they have room to move about. Children can make first hand observations of the size, locomotion, eating habits, and other interesting features of the animals. They also become acquainted with type of foods certain animals eat, and take responsibility for feeding them.
- paper plates
- cellophane or other transparent plastic paste, Scotch tape
- paper clips
- moth crystals
- chemicals for killing insects
Many chemicals may be used to kill insects for mounting. Carbon tetrachloride is one of the best. Rubbing alcohol, gasoline, or various commercial insect may be used. Insects breathe through tiny openings along the sides of their abdomens; if a chemical is applied directly to the insect, place it on the abdomen in order to kill it most quickly.
Cover the center of a paper plate with cotton. Mount the insect by applying a small amount of paste to the insect and then placing it on the cotton. Older children may use mounting pins. Cover the entire plate with cellophane, and fasten securely on the back of the plate with Scotch tape. If you wish to preserve the
specimen for a long time, place a few moth crystals under the cotton before wrapping the plate.
Fasten a paper clip to the back of the plate and hang the plate on the wall. Under the plate should appear a label with the following information on it:
- date collected;
- where found;
- what good or harm this insect does;
For older children the term "value" or "economic importance" could be used for (4).
Children become interested in the insect population found in their community. They will also discover which types of insects are harmful and which ones are beneficial.
Two common types of bird feeders;
1. a window shelf,
2. a windvane feeder which turns with the wind.
WINDOW SHELF TYPE
- board, 6 or 8 inches wide
- slat, 2 inches wide
- hammer, saw, nails
Cut the board into a proper length for the window in which it is to placed. Make an edge on the feeder by nailing the 2-inch slat around the sides of the board. Birds need both feed and water, so a small pan of water may be set in one corner of this feeder.
This kind of feeder is best for seed-eating birds, and may be kept supplied with ground corn or mixed grain of various kinds. During summer children may dry seeds such as pumpkin, squash, muskmelon, or watermelon, for use in bird feeders during the winter.
- boards of suitable size
- dowel or broom stick
- hammer, saw, nails
The diagram will show you how to cut and arrange the boards for this type of feeder. It can be made as small or large as you wish, but the floor of the feeder should have an area of at least a square foot and the roof should be at least eight inches above the floor.
The windvane feeder is mounted so that it can turn freely. The two long boards act as vanes, turning the feeder so that the closed end of the feeder is always toward the wind. Birds may thus eat in a sheltered place, and food will not be blown away.
"CHICKEN WATERER" BIRD FEEDER
- pint or quart fruit jar
- chicken waterer base
Fill the jar with bird seed, chopped grain, ground corn, or mixed grain. Screw the chicken waterer on the top of the jar, and invert. This provides a self-feeder; feed comes through to the edge of the base, where birds can get it.
- paper cups
- chick feed
- small sticks, such as those from ice cream bars
Melt the suet over a low heat; add the chick feed and stir to a thick consistency. Fasten a fifteen inch string to a small piece of stick and lay the stick in the bottom of a paper cup. Pour the seed and suet mixture into the cup. Be sure to hold the string in an upright position until the suet begins to harden; the string will then be firmly imbedded in the suet ball. For better hardening and for preservation until the time of use, place the cups in a refrigerator or deepfreeze. When the suet ball is to be used, remove the paper cup by splitting it on each side with a sharp knife, or dipping it momentarily into hot water. Hang the suet ball in a tree or on a clothes line where birds can feed and still be observed from a convenient window.
Another simple way to provide snet for such birds as thc chickadee or downy woodpecker, is to place a piece of suet on an 8-inch square piece of hail screen and fasten this screen to the trunk of a tree or post. The birds can peck out the suet from the meshes of the screen.
Stalks of kafir corn, milo, or other sorghums
At harvest time, children can gather stalks of kafir corn or other sorghums; the seed-bearing tops of these stalks can he fastened in various places where birds can reach them. The stalks can be stood up in the snow, or tied to trees or posts.
These and many other typcs of feeders give children a first hand opportunity to see the feeding habits of birds, to note what types of food they choose, and to see what kinds of birds are present in various seasons. They will make many incidental observations of interest, concerning sizes, sex differences, seasonal differences, courtship and nesting behavior, and many others. They may learn to recogonize many kinds of birds at a glance.
AN INEXPENSIVE BIRD BATH
- tile sewer pipe, not less than 6 inches in diameter
- garbage can lid
Stand the sewer pipe on the flared end. Tie the weight to the handle of the garbage can lid, using a heavy enough weight to hold the lid firmly in place. Drop the weight into the sewer pipe and adjust the lid so that is is level. Paint the lid to prevent rusting. Place the bird bath in a desirable place in the school or home yard, and will with clean water. .
Children can observe birds while the birds are drinking and bathing; they will note colors, shapes, and sizes, as well as various types of behavior.
HELPING BIRDS WITH NEST BUILDING
- hail screen
- boards, about 9 to 12 inches alld 1 to 2 inches wide
- hammer, saw, nails, staples
- eye screw
- string, twine, yarn, etc.
Make a square or rectangular frame by nailing together the four boards. Shellac the frame to prevent weathering. Cut a piece of hail screen the same size as the frame, and staple it to the frame. In the middle of one of the boards of the frame, insert an eye screw. This is to hang the frame from a branch of a tree or other suitable support. Fasten string, twine, feathers, horse hair, brightly colored yarn, cotton, and other nest building materials through the meshes of the hail screen. Various birds will use these materials for their nests.
Children may observe materials used by various types of birds in eonstructing their n2sts. and will note that certain species of birds select certain kinds of materials. They also become familiar with the birds that live around the community.
The sketches on pages 8, 10, 11, and 14 were drawn by biology student Tom Cain.
PLANT LIGHT RELATIONSHIP
- large cigar box or shoe box
- black paper
- small flower pot, containing small plant, such as bean, petunia, nasturtium, Wandering Jew, or ivy
Line the box and lid with black paper. Paste in the tabs made from oak tag or index cards and covered with black paper, one about two inches from the base and attached to one side of the box, and the other about four inches from the base and attached to the opposite side of the box; both tabs should be slanted toward the top of the box, as shown in the diagram. Cut a hole about one inch square on one side near the top of the box. This is to allow some light to enter the box at this point. Place a potted plant in the box near the side opposite that in which the opening is cut. Close the lid and keep it closed except when it is necessary to water the plant. Put the box on the window ledge or on a table where the sun will shine on it. The plant will grow back and forth within the box and will finally reach the opening where light enters the box. The children may work out variations of this plan.
Children gain some understanding of the importance of light to growing plants.
- glycerine, one ounce
- water, one quart
- paper towelling
- construction paper
Soak the leaves overnight in a pall containing a mixture of one quart of water and one ounce of glycerine. The next morning remove the leaves and lay them on paper towelling to dry. When the leaves are completely dry, mount them on construction paper and cover them with cellophane. In this method the shape and even most of the color of the leaves are preserved.
This is a good way to save the fall leaves and preserve their shape and color; it is also a way to help children to identify leaves.
- wax paper
- construction paper
- iron and ironing board
Place the leaf between two sheets of wax paper. Press lightly with a warm iron. The iron should be hot enough to melt the wax from the paper on to the leaf.
To display the leaf or leaves, remove them from the wax paper and fasten them to construction paper. Cover with cellophane.
Mounting leaves helps children to become better acquainted with their environment, by preserving leaves for further study and identification.
WINDOW BOX GARDEN
- window box, or wooden box of suitable size and shape
- fertile soil
- seeds or plants
- fork or other cultivator
Place the box on a window sill where there is plenty of sunshine. Fill the box with fertile soil, and water until the soil is moist but not soaking wet. After the soil has settled, plant the seeds or plants. Keep well watered and when necessary, cultivate the soil. A table fork makes a suitable cultivator.
This shows children how plants grow, and illustrates the importance of soil, water, proper temperature, sunshine and good care.
- pan or plate
- seeds, such as corn or beans
- clothes pins
Place a blotter the size of the plate or pan in the container. Put the seeds on this blotter. Now put another blotter the same size as the container over the seeds. Keep the blotters moist but not soaking wet. Use clothes pins to keep the edge of the blotters fastened down tightly to the pan or plate.
- cloth, such as outting flannel
- jar, quart size
- seed corn or lima beans
Dampen the cloth, then lay it flat on the table. Place the seeds on it. Now roll the seeds up in cloth. Place the roll in a quart jar. Keep sufficient moisture in the jar to keep the roll damp, but not soaking wet. Keep at room temperature. The seeds will germinate and can he easily observed when the roll of seeds is opened.
The children observe that not all seeds will germinate. They see that some seeds have two cotyledons and some have only one. First hand observation of the process of germination occurs.
- grass seed
Place a dampened sponge in a saucer. Sprinkle grass seed over the sponge and in the little of the sponge. Keep the sponge moist and at room temperature. In a few days the grass seed will soon begin to germinate. Try to germinate seeds by plaeing a dry sponge in a saucer. Sprinkle grass seed over the sponge and in the little openings of the sponge. In a few days observe what is happening to this sponge.
Place a third sponge in a saucer and dampen. Sprinkle grass seed over the sponge and in the little openings of the sponge. Keep the sponge moist but place it in a cold place, such as a refrigerator. After a few days notice what has happened to this grass seed.
Children soon discover that moisture and a suitable temperatnre are essential to seed germination.
- two tin cans
- thin wire or string
- button or splint
Remove one end from each of the cans. The cutting should be smooth so that they will hc safe to use. Punch a hole in the center of the bottom of each of the cans. Now thread one end of the wire or string through the hole to the inside of the can and tie it to the button or small piece of a splint. Take the other end of the wire or string and thread it in the same manner, to the other can. Two children are needed to use this telephone. They stand far enough apart from each other to pull the wire or string taut. One child speaks into the can, holding the can close around his mouth. The other child holds the can to his ear. Be sure that both the speaking can and the hearing can are in a straight line and that the wire or string are taut.
This helps children understand that sound vibrations from the human voice can be transmitted along a wire or string from one place to another. It also shows that vibrations travel only when the string or wire is taut.
Arrows show directions of air movement when the candle is burning.
- two lantern globes or two glass chimneys
- wooden box 14 x 7 x 7 inches
- glass for front of the box
- punk or splints
Place the box on its side and enclose the open side of the box with a piece of glass that can he moved back and forth. On the top part of the box ream two holes sufficiently far apart so the base of lantern globes or chimneys do not touch and large enough so the base of the globes will fit. Under one opening place a candle securely to the bottom of the box. To do this drip a little of the hot candle wax on the bottom of the box and then press the candle into the wax. When the wax hardens the candle will be secure.
Now light the candle. Slide the glass completely closing the front of the box. When a smoldering stick of punk or splint is thrust down the globe or chimney opposite the one where the lighted candle is. You will note that the smoke will move across to the side where the lighted candle is and out that chimney or globe. When a smoldering stick of punk or splint is thrust down the chimney or globe where the lighted candle is, you will note that the smoke comes right out that globe or chimney.
Children can see that warm air is lighter than cold air, and that warm air is pushed out the chimney by the cold air. They may also see that wind is one result of such movement.
- egg carton or egg container
- Scotch tape, or cellophane
To display rocks or shells, put a rock or shell in each compartment of an egg carton or container. Label each rock to indicate what it is, where it was found, and by whom. The rocks may be kept in place with Scotch tape or by fastening cellophane over the complete box. Keep the lid intact to use as a cover. Thus the rocks can be easily stored.
This container helps children to recognize some of the common rocks found around their home or in the community.
ELECTRIC QUESTION BOARD
- bell wire
- buzzer, bell or miniature socket and light
- 40 stove bolts and nuts, small size
- ply board, size 36 x 24 inches
- a dry cell
Almost any size board could be used for this piece of apparatus; 36 x 24 inches in a convenient size. Ply wood is good material to use. Divide the board into two equal areas, marking both the front and the back.
Bore four rows of holes, ten in a row, as shown in thc diagram, the proper size for the stove bolts. These rows should be about nine inches apart, and the holes should he abont two inches apart. Insert bolts in these holes.
On the back of the board, connect each bolt in the upper half with one at the bottom, as shown. Be sure that all connections are tight.
Attach a small buzzer or bell to the back of the board. Connect the binding post of a dry cell to one terminal of the bell or buzzer. Attach a wire about three feet long to the other binding post of the dry cell and a similar one to the second terminal of the bell or buzzer. Place the two ends of the wire together and you have completed an electrical circuit, thus the bell or buzzer will ring. Now place one end of the wire on a stove bolt found at the top of the board and the other to the connecting bolt at the bottom of the board. Again you have completed the circuit and the bell or buzzer. In this case, place the light on the front of the board near the top. Make the same sort of connections.
You are now ready to add your questions to be answered, or pictures to be identified. Be sure that the question and its answer are located at the two ends of a connecting wire. Do not fasten the questions and answers permanently, but paste on with rubber cement or use thumb tacks. Thus you may change the question and answer positions frequently in order that the children will not get the answers by place position.
This piece of apparatus can be made in a variety of ways. No doubt the children will have some ideas about the construction.
This electric questioner helps children understand complete and incomplete circuits. It gives them some understanding of the bells, buzzer and or miniature lights. The dry cell becomes something of interest, and the children discover that when the positive and negative posts are connected, there is a flow of electricity.
MAGNETIC FISH POND
- paper clips
- gummed reinforcements
- unruled paper
- dowel rods or sticks about one foot long
- small bar magnets
- a cardboard box
- string about 12 inches long
Cut out from unruled paper fish about three or four inches long. With gummed reinforcements attach a paper clip near the mouth of the fish. Put all of the fish in the cardboard box. Make fishing poles by tying the string to the bar magnet and to the dowel rod.
You are now ready to fish. Many variations of this activity can be made. Arithmetic problems may be written on the fish. When a child catches a fish, he gives the right answer to the problem. Words for reading can be placed on the fish and the same procedure takes place.
Children discover that paper clips are made of steel, and as a result, the magnets attract them.
- wafer thermostat
- egg crate or similar box
- electrical wire
- nails, tacks
- light socket, porcelain
- asbestos sheets
- hail screen
- sponge 75 or 100 watt light bulb
- fertile eggs
Stand the egg crate on end so that the divided sections are accessable. Line the top sectioll, size 13 x 12 inches, with asbestos. Tack the asbestos in place. Bore a half dozen small openings through the top of the section. About 5 1/2 inches from the top of the crate (lined section) secure a frame made of small strips of wood. On top of this frame, place a piece of hail screen, size 12 x 13 inches. Bend one inch of the hail screen down over the front part of the frame. This helps to hold the wafer thermostat on the right side (looking into the box) of the crate about three inches from the top of the crate. In the center of the asbestos area and below the hail screen, place and secure the porcelain light socket. Now wire the thermostat to the light socket. From the light socket and from the thermostat should be two wires that can be wired properly to an eleetric plug.
The interior of the incubator is complete. Fit a of glass in front of the asbestos of the incubator.
Regulate the temperahlre of the incubator by placing a thermometer in the area above the hail screen. When the proper temperature is reached, adjust the set screw to the thermostat. Now the light will come on whenever the temperature is below the desired level and go off when that temperature is reached.
You are ready to hatch chicks. You may keep the eggs the full time for hatching or you may go to a hatchery and get eggs that are about to hatch. In any case, be sure to place a moist sponge in the area where the eggs are located, that is above the hail screen and in the asbestos lined area.
This piece of apparatus is efficient in showing how some animals are reproduced from eggs. It also makes more meaningful for some children electrical connections and uses.
- extension cord
- light bulb
- shoe box, or square hat box, (most any type of cardboard box can be used)
- star maps
- white paper or white paint
- black construction paper
Whatever type of box you get, it must have a lid. Line the inside of the box with white paper or if you prefer, paint the inside of the box with white paint. In the center of the bottom of the box make an opening just large enough for the base of a light bulb to fit. If you use a shoe box, put this opening at the end of the box. The size bulb you use will be determined by the size of the box. If you use a hat box, draw an 8 inch square on the lid. Be sure that the square is centered. If a shoe box is used draw a rectangle 8 x 4 1/2 inches on the lid. Using a razor blade, cut the drawn lines. Now you have an opening 8 inches square, or 8 x 4 1/2 inches.
Cut several sheets of black construction paper to fit the lid of the box. Mark off 8 inch squares or 8 x 4 1/2 inch rectangles on each piece of black construction paper. Place dots to represent the constellation. With a nail, ice pick, or other sharp instrument make a small hole at each dot. Put only one constellation on each sheet. Place these sheets one at a time on the inside of the lid. Use masking tape to hold the sheet in place. Now put the lid on the box. Turn on the light. The light will shine through the holes in the constellation chart, and make the constellation look something like it does in the night sky. If the stars do not show clearly enough make the openings a little huger. You can make a series of constellation charts, and change them in the constellarium.
Children an understanding of the shape of the constellation from this experience. They may also use the constellarium to help them find constellations in the night sky.
- modeling clay or patching plaster
- empty baby food can or other small till can
- square cake pan, 12 x 12 inches
- ammonium dichromate, finely granulated
With modeling clay or patching plaster fashion a small volcanic cone in the cake pan. Make a depression in the top and insert the small tin can. Keep the clay moist and allow it to dry gradually. Thus you will avoid having the clay crack. After the cone is completely dry place some finely granulated ammonium dichromate in the can. Mix a few match heads with the ammonium dichromate. Use a match to light the chemical.
Advanced children will understand something about the chemical reaetion. This volcano shows graphically what happens in a real volcano despite the fact this is a simulated one. By reading they can discover the difference between this type of volcano and a real one.
- cardboard carton
- tag board
- tempera paint, blue, green, brown, red modeling clay
- Scotch tape
- old newspapers
- dish pan or gallon pail
A rectangular cardboard carton, preferably about 20 x 12 x 12 inches, may be used to construct a diorama. However almost any sized carton may be used, depending upon what the diorama is to show. Cut off the flaps. Now you have a box enclosed except the front. See Figure A. Figure B shows top and front open, with bottom back and two sides solid.
One way to make a background for your diorama is to use a piece of tag board the same width as the cardboard carton and long enough to curve one edge of the box across the back and to the other front edge. This piece is held in place at the front edges by Scotch tape. See Figure A. Now paint the type of
background needed on this curved section, using tempera paint.
Another way to make the background is to paint it directly on the back and sides of the cardboard carton. See Figure B.
The floor of either type of box may be covered with paper and painted to represent water and grass. However real soil, grass and other material may be used. This will depend on what the diorama is to depict.
Oil modeling clay may he used to make the animals and some types of vegetation.
Papier mache may also be used to model the animals and vegetation. To make the papier mache material, tear up newspaper into small pieces and put these pieces into a dish pan or a gallon pail. Add sufficient water to saturate the paper and knead in order to be sure the paper is thoroughly wet. Now add the paste to the mixture until it is sticky enough to hold the shape of the animal that you are molding,
The paste may be made from flour using four times as much water as flour. Combine the ingredients and cook over a slow heat until the mixture is thick. Wall paper paste or wheat paste is good to use.
Dioramas may be used to illustrate the habitat of prehistoric, desert, forest, creek, lake, or pond life. Many interesting relationships among plants and animals can be shown.
RECENT BOOKS AND OTHER SCIENCE MATERIAL
- Vessel, Mathew F. and Wong, Herbert. How To Stimulate Your Science Program. Fearon Publishers, 2450 Fillmore Street, San Francisco 15, California, 1957, 32 p. illustrated $1.00
- Blough, Glenn O. and Campbell, Marjorie H. Making and Using Classroom Science Materials in the Elementary School, Dryden Press, Inc,. New York 19, New York, 1954 229 p. illustrated, $2.50
- Atkin, Myron J., and Burnett, Will R. Air, Wind, and Weather. Rinehart & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1958 58 p. illustrated $1.00
- Atkin, Myron J. and Burnett, Will R. Electricity and Magnetism. Rinehart & Company, Inc., New York, New York, 1958 58 p, illustrated $1.00
- Parker, Bertha Morris. Science Experiences in the Elementary School. Row, Peterson, and Co., Evanston, Illinois, 1952 272 p. illustrated $2..50
- Schloat, Warren G. Jr. The Magic of Water. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, New York 1955, 46 p. illustrated $2.00
- Turtox Service Leaflets, Turtox Service Dept., General Biological Supply House, 8200 South Hoyne Avenue, Chicago 20, Illinois. illustrated, 3 cents per leaflet
No. 1. How to Make an Insect Collection
No.7. The Care of Frogs and Other Amphibians
No. 10. The School Terrarium
No. 11. Plants for the Fresh-water Aquarium
No. 13. Rearing the Silkworm Moth
No. 23. Feeding Aquarium and Terrariurn Animals
No. 31. Frog Eggs
No. 34. The Care of Living Insects in the School Laboratory
No. 35. Studying Ants in Observation Nests
No. 38. Moth Cocoons
No. 45. Lantern Slides Any Teacher Can Make
No. 46. The Study of Fossil Specimens
No. 48. Aquarium Troubles: Their Prevention and Remedies
AUDUBON SCREEN TOUR SERIES
The Biology Department of the Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia is sponsoring its second Audubon Screen Tour Series during the current school year. This series consists of five all-color motion pictures of wildlife, scenics, plant science, and conservation, personally narrated by leading naturalists. Two of the five programs have been presented, the other three will be given in Albert Taylor Hall at 8:00 p.m. on the dates listed below.
ROGER TORY PETERSON, Wild America, Friday, January 23.
OLIN SEWALL PETTINGILL. JR., Penguin Summer, Monday, April 13.
WILLIAM FERGUSON, This Curious World in Nature, Friday, May 15.
Plan to attend with some of your students. Family and single admission tiekets are available. For additional information write to Carl Prophet, Biology Department, KSTC, Emporia.
WORKSHOP IN CONSERVATION
Plan now to attend the 1959 Workshop in Conservation, which will be a part of the 1959 Summer Session of the Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia, June 1 to 19, and June 22 to July 10, 1959.
As in the past several years, the Workshop will cover water, soil, grassland, and wildlife conservation teaching. Such topics as geography and climate of Kansas, water resources, soil erosion problems and control, grass as a resource, bird banding, wildflowers, conservation clubs, and conservation teaching in various grades will be discussed. There will be lectures, demonstrations, discussion groups, films, slides, field trips, projects, and individual and group reports. You may enroll for undergraduatc or graduate credit.
Any interested person may enroll in the first section; enrollment in the second section is limited to those who have an established interest in conservation and some teaching experience.
Exact dates, fees, and other details will appear in later issues of The Kansas School Naturalist; for other in formation about the Workshop write Robert F. Clarke, Department of Biology, KSTC, Emporia, Kansas.
|The Kansas School Naturalist||Department of Biology|
|College of Liberal Arts & Sciences|
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Kansas School Naturalist.
|Emporia State University|