Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

Third Grade: Shrinky Dinks from #6 plastic

Posted on: March 2, 2010

No pictures are currently available due to camera theft.

Creative Reuse Lesson Plan         Third Grade: Measurement

Written by Keri Piehl for SCRAP /Whitman ES 2009-10

Shrinky Dinks

Cost per student: $.15 (this includes the cost of permanent markers from SCRAP, but you could use them for many lessons)

Materials: a toaster oven (borrow one!), permanent markers and colored pencils, scissors, hole punch, clean #6 plastic containers from the recycle bin (this ONLY works with plastic marked #6, do not try this with other plastic), sandpaper, hot pad, fork.

Optional: yarn, beads, or safety pins

Students will apply heat to plastic – measuring temperature – to create an original piece of art.

Elements of art: shape, form, line, color

Vocabulary: reuse, degrees, temperature, contract/expand

1. Discuss the concept of temperature with the students. Show them a few kinds of thermometers (digital and mercury, if you have one) and talk about heat and cold.

2. Show them a piece of #6 plastic and explain that heat causes it to contract, bringing the molecules closer together – shrinking it. If possible, set up the toaster oven so they can watch this happen. I pointed the teacher’s document camera at it so we could all watch it in real time.

3. To make their own shrink art, cut the edges off a piece of clear #6 plastic. Use a piece of sandpaper to rough up the surface. Draw or color with colored pencils or permanent markers. DO NOT USE WATERCOLOR MARKERS, PAINT OR CRAYONS.

4. Punch a hole in the plastic if you want them to be able to make a zipper pull or necklace etc. out of it. You will not be able to punch a hole once it shrinks. Put it in the toaster oven at 250* for about 30 seconds. It will undulate as it resizes. When it lays flat again, remove it from the tray using a hot pad and a fork or similar implement.

5. It will stay hot for a few minutes. When you’re sure it’s cool, let the student pick it up and string it on cord with beads (we made zipper pulls by using large safety pins with colored beads along with our plastic art).

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