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A Teacup for a T-Rex

Combine a nifty 3-D art lesson with a great book and an easy science experience kids will love. Students make beautifully designed “dinosaur” tea cups from recycled materials complete with grass steam.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Introduce the students to the lesson by reading Tea Rex by Molly Idle. Discuss the events of the story. Explain to the students that they will be making “dinosaur” (large sized) teacups.
    2. Cover tables. Hand out plastic or foam bowls. Have students write their names on the inside bottom of the bowl using permanent marker.
    3. Have students paper mache the exterior and interior lip of the bowl only. They will only need approximately 3 light coats because the bowl will remain inside. The paper mache provides a nice painting surface while keeping the bowl impermeable. Allow bowls to dry for several days.
    4. Once dry, have students basecoat their cups in a color of their choice.
    5. While basecoats are drying, provide the students with many examples (images or real) of teacups. Analyze designs in a class discussion. What do they like? What don’t they like? What motifs are repeated? How is pattern, line, color used? Students can then draw their own design for their teacups in their Crayola Doodle Pad®.
    6. Have students paint teacups decoratively. Add Crayola Squeezables® glitter. Leave teacups to dry.
    7. Hot glue (adults only) strips of Crayola Construction Paper® in coordinating colors for handles.
    8. Allow students to fill their bowls about three-quarter full with potting soil. Students can sprinkle grass seed generously on the top of the soil, then lightly cover with more soil. Explain how the dirt is the tea and the grass growing up from the seed will be the steam.
    9. Initially teacups can be separated into four groups: 1 group can be given both sunlight and water, 1 group can be given water only, 1 given sunlight only, 1 given neither. Students can hypothesize what will happen to each group.
    10. After several days when experiment is complete, all cups can be watered and given sunlight so that everyone can have steam. Display teacup works of art on a tablecloth.
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer questions such as who, what, when, where and why to demonstrate understanding of key details in a story.

    LA: Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

    SCI: Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.

    VA: Formulate a question and investigate it using an artistic process.

    VA: Create art with various materials and tools to explore personal interests.

    VA: Analyze aesthetic choices made by artists and designers.

  • Adaptations

    Have a class tea party.

    Conduct a unit on table manners.

    Tie in to Math by having students measure their grass and graph its growth.


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