Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Nutcracker Challenge

I had to give it a try... you know the paper towel tube nutcracker that are all Pinterest these days (seen below)??  Love it. The music department brought in a local ballet performance of the nutcracker for the whole school to watch.  The third grade performed their own version for their parents as well.  This grade had Nutcrackers on the brain.

I gave them an engineering challenge for this project.  I gave a limited amount of colored contact paper.  I know what you are thinking?? Where did you get that Nic... So glad you asked because I bet you have this resource in your community too... I went on a tour of the Elk River city department.  Our city creates their own road signs.  This means they have a lot of leftover, small scraps of contact paper.  The city was willing to let me have all the scraps... It's perfect for this project. 

So adding onto the one color of contact paper they each got, I also gave them a red sharpie, black sharpie to share with a partner. Each a paper towel tube, google eyes, and one cotton ball.  

We broke down the fact together... Students talked about the steps, shapes, and order each part of the face was drawn one.  They used their sharpies to create the face.  Then they started adding the contact paper but in order to get the decorations, they discovered that they needed to share their scraps with each other.  This was fun to see them problem solve this solution. 

I displayed then in the window of the office.  You know that little bit of space where the trim of the window is?? I placed a piece of tagboard behind the tubes and they stayed behind glass safe and sound.  It was one of those... Hummm, I can't believe I have not thought of this before, moments. 

These got RAVE reviews... Parents loved the little treats, and there was reports of simular projects being made at home. 


  1. What a clever way to display. I may have to try it next year. Thanks

  2. What a fun project! I am excited to try it next year for Advent with my niece and nephew!