Many people that know me would agree that me going near a hot glue gun isn’t necessarily the safest or most sensible option. BUT! On Tuesday I was given my own shot when we made these.. Mother’s Day Plant Pots. Richard (our tutor) basically gave us free rein to create whatever we wanted with the intention that we would make a learning intention and a success criteria to go with it for children in a classroom. The first thing we decided was that we wanted to have as our learning intention;
We are learning to safely use a hacksaw in order to cut a piece of wood into equal lengths.
We then started looking on pinterest on things we could reasonably affordably and quickly make with children in a classroom. Here was our inspiration, which we made into our own idea. A plant pot for mother’s day for the children to take home with them. With that we discussed, we decided how to make the box, who already had experience in this field and who wanted to do which job. Teeny and Skye chose to do the presentation sheet and wrote down our success criteria as well as the learning intentions and the other areas of the curriculum covered in this activity.
Our success criteria was
I can successfully; hold and use a hacksaw safely, measure equal lengths of wood.
After some further thought we realised that really we should have had more of a basic success criteria that the children could easily follow, but we can only learn!
While this was going on we had Jess and Grace doing a fantastic job of sawing our pieces of wood. They all had to be equal lengths for the box to start taking a proper shape so they had a harder job with that in mind. When working with children I think I would want them to have already discussed with me safety whilst using a junior hacksaw and were able to measure properly with a ruler and understand why they were doing it. It could take quite a lot of practice to be able to properly use a junior hacksaw so this would be a good practice activity.
After this was done we sanded down the pieces of wood and started gluing them together using a hot glue gun. This part could almost be another lesson on craft and design all together depending on how long the children take to do each part of the box making. However, using a hot glue gun is again something that I would be wary of doing with the children without some safety instruction beforehand.
With all this excitement of me and Teeny using (very well actually) hot glue guns and sandpaper, Kathleen and Megan were busy to work making our pretend flower just for show. Although if I was going to do this in a class my obvious choice would be to use a real plant rather than one made out of wood. We did not have that option available to us so we had to be practical and just made one instead. Using a real plant would get the children thinking about science, looking at the life cycle of a plant, different types of flowers and gardening just as a few examples.
So we did all this but what did we actually learn from doing it? Well we learnt about safety in the classroom and why it is important to teach the children the safety beforehand. I also took note that all the things in the room that we used are readily available to us, in a classroom they might not be and you might have to bring something in yourself from home (like a hot glue gun) or even go to the shops and spend your own money on it. Collaboration for us was hugely important. Yes, it took eight of us to make a box which might sound ridiculous but at the same time, children do sometimes work better in teams and I know for a fact I could not have done that without the others! Maybe this is a teamwork task more than an individual task and we would need to assess the different uses for the boxes.
So that was how we made our Mother’s Day flower pot! Here is the finished product!