Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The One With the T-Shirts

Have you ever given one of those assignments and thought, "This will suffice."? That is exactly where I found myself a few weeks ago. We were studying plants and comparing the different parts of a plant to the human reproductive system. Oh the joys of teaching 7th grade Science. One of the things I'm supposed to do is help my students dissect a flower.

Confession: In my 5 years of teaching science, I've only done this once before this year. Oops! Plants just aren't my thing. I know that's no reason to completely skip a framework, but hey I figured one skipped framework wasn't THAT big of a deal.

This year though, I was determined. I was going to teach those kids plants like they were my favorite thing, like I live for plants! I had to come up with two different lab activities to do with my students. Day one consisted of going to the computer lab to virtually dissect a plant. Can I just say virtual dissections ROCK! We did that on this website. It worked out great! I created an easy how to worksheet with a few questions for my students to work through. The site says this particular lab was designed for 9-10 year olds, but it worked great with my 7th graders. You can find my handout on this lab in my TPT store.

So that lab went great, but I had no idea what I was going to do for Day 2. I was scouring the Internet for ideas at the last minute.

*Sidenote - please tell me I'm not the only procrastinating teacher!

In the back of my mind was this idea I had come across on another blog. I loved the idea of using t-shirts. Then it hit me!!

My students designed a plant tee! This has definitely become one of my favorite assignments. It's in the bank for future use. They had to draw a flower and label 11 different parts that I listed for them. Their shirt had to be completely colored.

When they saw the name of the lab on the board as they walked in, they all thought they were getting real t-shirts. Disappointment filled my classroom when they realized it was a paper shirt. They were all claiming they would have worn them to school if they had been real. HA! I admit I was a little disappointment too....until I saw the end result. I just don't think they would have been this beautiful if we had used real shirts.

While they were working I took their pictures. We cut out their t-shirts (a template I found online), attached their heads and they are now adorning our hallway walls.

I wasn't real sure how much to zoom on the pictures so some t-shirts have BIG heads and some have really little heads. The kids just think this is hilarious. It added to our love of the assignment.

Every teacher that has walked by my room has oohed and awed over the shirts. I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you. It was hard to pick. I'd love to show you all ninety-something shirts, but I'll spare you. :)

I apolagize for the poor picture quality.


  1. Elainaann:

    WOW! These are gorgeous! How great that you found a way to have them incorporate their learning into a product that is so very COOL!

    Congratulations on TWO great lessons!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. How did you connect the plant reproductive system with the human reproductive system?