Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Science Club: Negative Space

Walls made with negative space
Science Club is something I started locally because my boys love science so much.  I'm going to share what we did in April in case anyone else wants to incorporate it into their homeschool or start their own science club:

Each month 1-3 students will share an experiment or collection to start our meeting. This month ds presented his cat stuffed animal collection.  We divided it into groups: lions, tigers, domestic cat, and one bobcat discussing how they are related in the feline family.  This was a good chance for a six year old to present to a group.

April's theme was Negative Space

We looked at Vase/Faces picture and several other optical illusions involving negative space.  I found them in books, but they are available online, too.
A Notan Design
Activity 1: Notan Design
We created an image called a notan design.  Traditionally, this is done with b/w, but it's spring so we used spring colors.  We used a large piece of construction paper for the background, and then a rectangle 1/4 the size to cut out the negative spaces.  The key is to glue down the negative spaces in a mirror image. This is a pretty simple illustration; you can get really sophisticated with it.

Activity 2: Negative Walls
Small marshmallows and toothpicks form "walls" and enclose negative space in a fun way.  They could make any structure.  We discussed geometry and the negative space within.  Tip: start with soft marshmallows, stale ones are more difficult to use.

Take home activity: Sudoku
There is a great website with free Sudoku puzzles for kids!  They have easy, medium, and hard - easy enough for elementary and logic phobic moms.  This develops critical thinking, and it involves lots of negative spaces in the puzzle which they have to use logic to fill in correctly.

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