If I was teaching 3rd grade again, I’d totally snag a copy of Actual Size Science and Social Studies Books. Actual Size Books contain lessons that allow students to create actual-sized or scaled drawings of various things relating to science, nature, geography, history, etc. For example, one of the lessons focuses on Dinosaurs. Your students’ task is to draw a Tyrannosaurus Rex and an Apatosaurus. Then, your students can compare the two. By combining art, group work, and exploration, students learn through a fun, project based lesson instead of a desk-oriented classroom lesson. How rad!
Actual Size Books are appropriate for any elementary aged-student, although the younger aged students might be more difficult to manage. Of course, it depends on your group of students! Some groups of students will work successfully while others end up throwing chalk, hitting, or destroying each other’s contribution to the artwork. Mind you, this is all based on my experience in working with elementary students. That being said, I would probably use these books in grades 3+, simply because older elementary students might be able to construct a classroom project more successfully.
If you’re interested in using this with a smaller group of students or an individual, you totally can! It might take longer to create the image you’re discussing and exploring, but it could be just as educational and fun. You might be able to draw a part as well.
The lessons are simple, easy to follow and fun. Imagine a group of 8-year-olds (or 10, 11, 12, etc.), crouched over their lifelike sketch of T-Rex. How wonderful! Learning together, creating together, and being away from their desks! Sounds fun, educational and novel to me!