Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Fun Way to Present A School Project - Roller Box

I want to share an idea that is so old it's new! A ROLLER BOX! This is a fun project for when your child is given an open-ended assignment in which they are to make something, like a poster, diorama, etc. to display the information.

The best part it's very easy to do and kids love it! All you need is a cardboard box, (the size is up to you), paper that will fit the width of that box, two dowels or tubes long enough to span the width of the box, and art supplies, photos or whatever you are including in your project.

For example, my son in Kindergarten was assigned a research project on the Okapi, an animal from Central Africa. We had fun gathering all sorts of fun facts about the Okapi. Then, we took a roll of paper like you put in children's art easils, mine is from IKEA and got to work drawing out our information all down the length of the roll. If you don't have rolled paper, no problem, just fill up many pages of paper, and tape them all together so they make up one long piece. One of my favorites in this particular project was my son's life size drawing of an Okapi calf. So cute!

Side of box with gift-wrap tubes extending out the sides.

Once you have all of the information you want to include and the long roll of paper is complete, it's time to make your box. I like to get my boxes from the bakery section of the grocery store, they always have the best boxes, just ask and they are happy to give you a nice sturdy box. Cut a rectangle into a box to match the width of your paper, as if your box is the "tv" and your paper is the "screen". Then, insert dowels, paper towel tubes, gift wrap tubes, or whatever you have that is long enough to extend out each side of the box about 3 or 4 inches. I used gift-wrap tubes because we chose to make our box fairly big. Make holes on the side of the box, large enough to fit the dowel or tube through, the fit should be snug. You should have one dowel or tube on the top, and one on the bottom. You can decorate the outside of the box if you'd like, I like to keep mine simple so that I can adapt it to each project.

When your box is assembled, tape the top edge of your paper roll to the top tube and roll it up as if it were a roll of paper towels. Once you get to the bottom edge of the roll, tape that edge to the lower roll/dowel. Roll your top dowel back to the beginning and you're done! Your child can narrate their project while the manually scroll through their report. It is like a low-tech Powerpoint and the kids love it!

This project is also very fun when used with a group of kids. Each child is given a piece of paper to make a drawing on the given topic and when done the pages are quickly taped together and added to the roller box. I have done this for kids of multiple ages and it they all love it when their picture comes on "screen". Great for Sunday School classes!

I have some ideas for other uses for roller boxes coming up soon!

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