My School, My Museum

3rd Grade | SEPTEMBER | Science + Visual Arts

Teachers, staff, and museum educators collaborated to dream up a project that focused on the science concepts of balanced and unbalanced forces (push, pull, gravity, friction) and Alexander Calder's mobiles. To learn more about the program: My School, My Museum, click HERE.

Check out the lesson plan to get a feel for class visit to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

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2019.9_3rd_Lesson Plan--Balance (Science)--website.pdf

The Artworks

Alexander Calder's Trois noirs sur un rouge (Three Blacks over Red)

Alexander Calder's Untitled

In the Classroom I

Students started out the morning by experimenting with balanced and unbalanced forces.

Click on the presentations to discover more.

3rd Grade September Field Trip

Amanda Willard working with the students in the museum classroom.

Amanda Willard leading the class in the experiment.

Students see what happens when one person pushes the ball (this is an unbalanced force and the ball moves).

Students use a ruler to experiment with balancing the ball. They also notice how friction and gravity cause the ball to slow or stop moving.

Students document their findings in their journals.

In the Galleries

Students participated in discussions about the art and artworks in the galleries. Educators moved the conversation to include vocabulary that the students learned in the classroom.

Sally Ball introduced the students to the Calder mobiles. Students discussed the movement, shadows, and theme of the artworks (and so much more)!

Kaye Collier leads a conversation at the Calder mobiles.

Alyssa Wilson facilitated a discussion about Calder's standing mobiles and the importance of color and movement in his artwork.

Students created their own standing mobile and experimented with how added shapes changed the aesthetic of the sculpture and caused movement.

Classroom II

Students were challenged to come up with a theme for a Calder-inspired mobile. In groups of two, they intentionally selected colors to match that theme and began sketching and then building their mobiles. Mobiles were finished in class after the field trip.