As a culminating Task for Grade 1 school’s Science Unit “Les Êtres vivant” (Living Beings), the students need to create a Life Systems Diorama to illustrate the basic needs of an animal. Me and Elizabeth got so excited about this project that couldn’t wait long to start the process. Early Saturday, after her Kumon Math Classes we run directly to Dollarama Store (dollar store retail chain, since 2009, it has been Canada’s largest retailer of items for four dollars or less). We already had 2 ideas in mind, but wanted to see what supplies can we find. Elizabeth wanted to present a Pinguin’s or a Flamingo’s Life Systems Diorama habitat.
The main requirements for Life Systems Diorama are:
a) Create a diorama for your animal showing it’s food, water source and shelter.
b) Answer a set of questions by circling a correct answer or by answering briefly in French.
c) Allowed animals: Jungle Animals, Polar Animals, Safari Animals, Sea Animals
In Dollarama, after reviewing what’s available, Flamingo won and happy us gathered all required for our diorama plan. Elizabeth decided, that her Flamingo will live in the blue lagoon. Therefore, we picked all necessary items to build a nice beach.
Materials Required for this project and total budget:
- Shoebox or similar sized box (an excellent base)
- Construction Paper or Card stock
- Paper Glue
- Glue Gun
- Light Blue Glitter Gravel for the water color – $2
- Colored Gravel – $1.25
- Flamingo Figurine – $3
- White felt – for Clouds – $1
- Pre printed on on a white paper shrimps
- Some shells (collected by Elizabeth in Cuba)
- Real dry algae
- Artificial Plastic Plants and a Palm tree – $3
- Library Books about Flamingos
All About Science Reader Series: “Flamingos” by Jean M. Malone
“Amazing Animals Flamingos” by Kate Riggs
Total Expense for Life Systems Diorama: $11 with tax included (not counting some of the listed supplies that we already have in our household and used just a bit of them).
One of the main goals was to keep my hands off the project as much as possible and let Elizabeth create the way she sees it. She discussed her ideas with me, asked for some help when required but was 90% independent in it. Daddy helped us with the great idea of how to attach flamingo to the box so it doesn’t fall (you may see it on the pictures below). I helped to cut the felt clouds as it is a bit new craft material for her to work with (but she practiced a bit as well). Also, my help was in finding and printing some shrimps.
Step One: Prepare The Box
Larger shoe box gave us more Space to work and allowed to put more details
Step Two: Decorating the box exterior is optional.
Despite that, we decided to print out our Cuban vacation pictures when we had a chance to approach and photograph Flamingo walking around the pool and in the nearby pond.
Step Thee: Decorating interior back wall of the box and base for the lagoon (water and sand).
For the back wall decision was to make it a sky with fluffy clouds and sun. And the box’s base required lagoon and sand base. That’s where felt, card stock paper and paper glue were used.
Step Four: to incorporate rocks, grass and palm tree using a glue gun.
Step 5: Create Lagoon using glue gun and Glitter Gravel
Here we had to work in unison and quick. I was applying the hot glue and Elizabeth sprinkled the glitter gravel.
Step 6: Cut pre printed shrimps and glue along with algae in the lagoon.
Simply find any shrimp image in google, paste and resize a few in a Word Document and print it out.
Step 7: Position the Flamingo
Step 8: Smile, because it turned out so beautiful!
Life Systems Diorama, besides learning about animals and their habitats, can be used to foster awareness on environmental issues and concern for nature.
Elizabeth will present her diorama to the class by reading the answers to the questions provided.
Happy and Creative learning – LOVE it!!!