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Sand Cakes and other Beach Creations

Making a 'Sand Cake" by creating a series of texture rubbings in a process lesson as if children were making a cake by playing at the beach.

  • Grade 1
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Prior to the lesson, make your own 'rubbing plates' by using Crayola Glue and cardboard or mat board by drawing the shape of milk, flour, butter, sugar, and anything else you may need for the cake with pencil, and then applying a line of white glue. Allow the plates at least two days to dry before using.
    2. Arrive for this lesson with a beach pail and shovel. Ask students where they might find all of the following together: shells, sand, birds, fish, crabs and maybe even castles. Using the pail as your center of discussion, ask how many ways it could be used while playing on the beach. Collecting shells? Dipping water? Digging sand? Explore more options for using the pail for shaping and molding sand to make castles, towers, and even cakes! Have the children demonstrate/pantomime filling their bucket/pail and have them tell you what steps would be needed to pack it firmly with sand and turn it upside down to create the shape.
    3. Discuss the sand's texture (rough, grainy, soft, scratchy). Ask students to think about how to draw or create a sand picture showing that texture. Allow think time and be accepting of all contributions.
    4. Demonstrate how to create a simple texture rubbing by placing paper over a rough surface (sandpaper, sidewalk, carpet square, tile, etc) and use the side of a peeled Crayola Multicultural Crayon. Ask students for their responses to what they have seen.
    5. Pose the question: If you were going to make a real cake, what would you need? Comments such as flour, milk, butter and sugar should follow. Discuss how you could make an imaginary "sand cake" using the texture rubbing technique. How might this work?
    6. Distribute 12" x 18" (30.5 cm x 45.7 cm) sheets of manila paper to all students and inform the group that they will be challenged to fill the paper with sand by using texture rubbing technique and sandpaper, texture rubbing plates and other textured surfaces. Discuss the step by step process of making a real cake; then use Crayola Crayons in varying colors, and the texture rubbing plates in the shape of ingredients for the cake. Encourage students to allow the shape designs to overlap.
    7. The shapes of the ingredients could also be cut with Crayola Blunt Tip Scissors from a variety of colored paper filled with Texture rubbing designs and added to the 'cake' with Crayola Glue Stick.
    8. Cut the larger manila 'sand' paper into the shape of a large cake. Display together for students to view and discuss how they made their "Sand Cakes".
  • Standards

    LA: Presentation of knowledge and ideas.

    SCI: Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

    SS: Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    SS: Consider existing uses and propose and evaluate alternative uses of resources and land in home, school community, the region, and beyond.

    VA: Generalize and conceptualize ideas for work.

    VA: Engage with Self Directed Play with materials.

    VA: Use a variety of art making tools.

  • Adaptations

    Read SAND CAKE by Frank Asch, and discuss the process of making a cake in the kitchen and in the sand.

    Use Crayola Crayons to draw an original recipe for making a cake.

    Cut out the 'sand cakes' and use as part of a larger mural of 'Playing at the Beach'.

    Embellish the sand cakes with Crayola Glitter Glue, oil pastels, etc.


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