Inflating Your Students' Imagination: Inflatable Teaching Tools

Thanks to all those people who came to our 8:00 a.m. workshop in New Orleans!! We were afraid that we would not have anyone show up that early on a Sunday morning after four days of the conference and evenings in the French Quarter. We hope you enjoyed learning about using inflatables in your classroom. Inflatables are an exciting and motivating tool that can really engage students. We have attached handouts for instructions on making the inflatables along with some photos of various uses. We will be adding a few more documents, so check back later.

I wanted to mention a few things that I forgot to tell you at the workshop. One interesting demo the students did for the tundra biome was placing
a big blob of Crisco or solid shortening in a zip lock baggie. Then the students slip their hands into a bigger baggie and "insert" it into the shortening bag. The skin does not touch the fat. You can secure the bags with a rubber band. Squeeze the outer bag and pack the shortening all around the fingers. Then the students submerge their fingers into bowl of ice water and they should be able to keep their hands warm because the "blubber" keeps them warm. Also, since my students were giving tours in the gym all day, I had parents bring in "biome" treats. We brainstormed ideas in class and came up with things like water (desert), fruit and trailmix ( rainforest), snowballs (cut up string cheese), popsicles (for the end of the day) and Snocaps for the tundra, goldfish (ocean).

Have fun!

Heidi Rhea and Breigh Rainey