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Nobel Prize Medallion

Nobel Prizes are awarded to people who do extraordinary things. Who would you select to win?

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. People from many fields all around the world are honored annually with Nobel Prizes. Along with the honor comes a large cash award to encourage winners to continue their fields of study. Achievements in physics, chemistry, literature, and peace are recognized. Invite students to find out about previous winners and research some deserving future candidates. Organize a variety of text and electronic resources for students to view during this research.
    2. The Nobel Prize is represented with a large golden medallion embossed with a silhouette of its founder, Alfred Nobel. This type of sculpture is called bas-relief. The first award was given in 1901. Here is one way to make a replica medallion.
    3. Form an orange-sized ball of Crayola® Air-Dry Clay. On a clean, dry surface, demonstrate for students how to flatten it with your fingers or a rolling pin until it is about one-half inch thick. Cut out a circle with a plastic cup or craft stick.
    4. Shape Nobel’s face by pinching the clay with fingers. Students look at a classmate for inspiration. Notice different indentations for chin, mouth, eyes, and forehead. Use a craft stick or fingers.
    5. The clay’s fine texture enables you to add many details to the medal. For example, roll a tiny clay ball to make an eye. Use a Crayola Colored Pencil point to make the pupil. Roll thin strips to create hair. Flatten a tiny piece of clay between fingers to make an ear. Attach loose pieces by scoring (making lines on) the backs of both pieces of clay with a toothpick and dampen with fingers before pressing them together.
    6. When finished sculpting, smooth medals with a few drops of water and fingers. Air-dry medals for at least 48 hours.
    7. Students cover work areas with recycled newspaper. Paint medals with gold Crayola Premier Tempera Paint. Air-dry the paint.
    8. Attach a ribbon to the back of the medal with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the glue before awarding your Nobel Prize selection. Describe to your class why you chose this person.
  • Standards

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices.

    SS: Give examples of the role of institutions in furthering both continuity and change.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Nobel Prize: The Story of Alfred Nobel and the Most Famous Prize in the World by Michael Worek; Alfred Nobel: The Man Behind the Peace Prize by Kathi Jo Wargin

    Working in small groups, students identify people who received the Nobel Prize. Organize research in an oral presentation format. Dress up like the famous person and do a live presentation for classmates.

    If you were on the board of trustees for the Nobel Prize, who would you nominate for the award? Along with identifying a nominee, students include biographical information and a summary of the nominee's career work.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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