- Education and Science
How to make a simple model of the Titanic out of cereal boxes. Plus lesson ideas to use with it after it is complete.
Teaching art and DT are subject that I enjoy and so do the children
One reason why I wanted to work in primary schools is because there is a licence to be creative. The more creative you can be the better for the children. This isn't always the case if you teach one particular subject.
In fact the great thing about teaching in primary is that you can link the creative subjects to others and this will only benefit the children's learning.
I did this lesson on making the Titanic first. Then we had an art lesson on decorating it. Last of all we had an english lesson on writing instructions from what they did. The instructions were really good. There was a really good reason for this too - because they had done the activity and were not trying to create instructions from their imagination. Considering the class was an SEN class they definatly needed a hands on activity to produce their best work. I do believe this is the best idea for most children though and not just those who find it hard to use their imagination.
The instructions for making this easy model are included in this video:
So what do you need?
- Cereal packet
- Toilet rolls x2
- Art materials to decorate your model.
Instructions of how to make a simple Titanic model from a cereal box.
- First you need to squash down your cereal packet. Just open the lid at the top and bottom as if you were opening the packet.
- Next you need to cut those flaps at the top and bottom of your packet.
- Once this is done then you need to cut it roughly in half.
- We don’t want to see what cereal you have been eating so fold it back on itself.
- Once that is done you need to measure around 8cm from the base along the folds at the top and cut along these lines.
- Do the same at the bottom but only 5cm this time.
- Once you have done that, you can fold the two parts together and stick it together using sellotape.
- Then do the same for the back of the ship. But remember to only mark and cut down 5cm here.
- You should notice that there are sticky out parts on the top now. These need cutting off using scissors.
- And of course sticking down again.
- Now you have the hull of the ship. Next we need to work on the living quarters. (sorry about the spelling mistake on the video!!!)
- First get the other half of the packet that you didn’t use. Then mark on 4 parallel lines. Each needs to be wider than the toilet rolls you have for the funnels.
- Note that I had to also put a square after one of these rectangles to make sure I can cover up that face when placed on the ship.
Then I cut it out.
- I also folded it around to make a cuboid shape. Before sticking it together with sellotape.
- Try it on for size.
- But then I realized I had made a mistake! I realised that the Titanic needed four funnels but I only had room for 3 on my cuboid. But this is fine, as we all make mistakes. So I looked how to correct it.
- A simple solution was to just make the cuboid longer, so I made a cube to stick on the side of it.
- A grid of 9 squares was drawn, each square the same size as the square face on my cuboid.
- This was cut out (the ones that make a + sign) and stuck together.
- And then I checked to make sure it all fits together! And looks like the Titanic!!!
- I was happy with this so I stuck the cube and cuboid together with sellotape.
- Then I looked at the funnels and thought they should be at an angle. So I squashed them down and cut the bottom off at an angle.
- Once I did that, I stuck them all down using sellotape.
- Then I stuck down the living quarters to the deck of the ship using sellotape.
- Finally (and this is down to you) I decorated it.
- Tip: If you use masking tape instead of sellotape like me, you will be able to decorate it a lot easier.
How can we use these models?
Once we had made the models, decorated them and then wrote instructions about what we did, we then used the models to make a stop animation using windows movie maker.
This is very easy to do:
- take a picture of your model, then move it slightly and take another. Move it again slightly and take another - and so on and so on.
- Once you have the pictures you upload them into windows movie maker and place them into the guide at the bottom.
- Then you can add sound effects and save it.
A video guide is shown below:
Other lesson ideas to go alongside the making of this model
There are a lot of lessons we had on the Titanic as we can get a lot out of it for the children and plenty of skills taught alongside the knowledge of what happened.
Lesson idea 1:
Using go-animate to create a story to go alongside the story of Titanic. There are ship templates for the background on the free version which we used - it is actually a pirate ship but you can delete the cannons etc to make it more realistic.
From this we then went onto writing the story out - using the speech bubbles to create speech sentences with all the correct punctuation in them.
- Make a Video. Amazing Animated Video Maker - GoAnimate.
Make a video online for free with GoAnimate! Make videos for YouTube and Facebook, create business and educational videos, make animated e-cards and more!
Lesson idea 2:
Using the wii and the game 'endless oceans' we explored the ocean as a class and found ship wrecks. We then used this to aid out descriptive writing.
I chose one person to play the wii while the rest wrote their descriptions - they were told that I would pick the next person who were working the hardest and if I thought their description was really good so far.
Lesson idea 3:
There is so much drama you could get out of this which would aid the children's writing:
- Drama about the differnet classes in the style of 'wife swap'. A 3rd class passenger is allowed on the top decks with the 1st class passengers - how would she react? How would the people around her react? Then you could swap this scenario around and have a 1st class passenger to visit the bottom of the ship with the 3rd class passengers. A good activity that would help the children understand the massive class divide.
- Drama about a 1st class woman who wants to date a 3rd class man in the style of Jeremy Kyle. No doubt they would have seen the movie so why not use it to your advantage and get them to write about the differences in class. This activity would be good for them to understand the massive class divide of the times.
- And of course drama about the disaster itself. I always found, though, that too many times it turned out to be about Jack and Rose so this needs to structured in some way away from this scenario.