Teaching Tales and share a few ideas.
If you are anything like me, you have an entire crate full of old magazines and junk mail. Everyone I know collects their magazines and hands them over to me to use in my classroom. I LOVE using the pictures in magazines and ads in the junk for classroom projects and activities. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. Name Tags
2. Scavenger Hunts
math scavenger hunt that I had the kids do (there is also a rubric). I wanted them to look through and find any and all references to each of the math terms listed. Some of the kids got REALLY creative! You can open any unit with this same idea, where they look through the magazines for evidence of things from a science topic (one year I had them find all of the "space" themed objects....they loved finding ads from Starbucks or Milky Way bars) or a the beginning of a language arts unit. Just breaking out the magazine crate and scissors gets the kids instantly interested.
3. Collage Portraits
Magazines are filled with colorful ads. These are great to create pictures with. I have the students create a basic picture or even a self portrait. Then, cutting or ripping (which I actually prefer) solid colors out of the magazine, the students piece them together to form the picture. The variation in colors provide a really nice contrast and make the artwork stand out!
4. Borders for Writing Projects
"Where I'm From" poems (which were about their own family heritage...the original can be found here). To accompany the final draft, and to give them a little bit of a different look, the students created a one inch frame around the edge of the final draft paper. They then cut out pictures and words that went along with the story they wrote about (in this case, things that told the "story" of their family)
5. Budget Planning with Circulars
favorite projects is when the kids go shopping for houses, write checks for those houses, and keep a register for them. They get so many great math skills in, all from old magazines that would have otherwise ended up in the trash!
6. Rebus Puzzles
The students LOVE creating puzzles for others to solve, and one great way to do that is through Rebuses. You know these...they are the puzzles where words are broken down into their parts and, using pictures, are "added" together. If a student wanted to say, "I hear you", they could cut out a picture of an eye from an ad then the letter h + an ear and a picture of a lamb (ewe). The kids LOVE making these, and they become a great interactive bulletin board.
So there you have it. A few easy, fun, MEANINGFUL activities to get your students reusing old magazines and junk mail, instead of just tossing them in the garbage.
How have you reused these old items in the classroom?