Science Shorts: Making Modelsby: Craig R. Leager

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Science and art are both creative ways of understanding the world and representing what we have come to know about it. The concrete, tangible aspects of art often provide a venue for students to convey their grasp of scientific knowledge, such as creating models of living organisms. This lesson illustrates one opportunity for combining art and science to improve student understanding of scientific ideas.

Grades
  • Elementary
Publication Date
2/1/2007

Community ActivitySaved in 134 Libraries

Reviews (4)
  • on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:40 AM

This article gives a very concise discussion of using models in science. The lesson included has students observing insects and then making a model of them out of clay. They then compare their models with the live insect. Using models in science has been an integral part of science since time began.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:36 AM

This article gives a very concise discussion of using models in science. The lesson included has students observing insects and then making a model of them out of clay. They then compare their models with the live insect. Using models in science has been an integral part of science since time began.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:57 AM

As the author points out using models is a way to communicate. Children in the early grades of elementary school use a real insect to observe and use as a model for a clay representation of their own creation. This is then used to help students understand the purpose of a model. This activity is simple yet important in the developmental understanding of the purpose of models.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:12 PM

The author makes a point about the importance of making models in science and for student learning and presents a lesson where students create a model of an insect. The lesson for lower grades is very nice but I feel the upper elementary students should spend more time discussing why the model is only a representation and can never be as good as the real thing and that sometimes models focus on one thing (the surface of the insect, for example) but at the expense of something else (like the insides). Overall a good explanation of why we should teach modeling and a good lesson to introduce it!

Tina Harris  (Fairmount, IN)
Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN)


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