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Creative Can Sculptures Help Feed the Hungry

Subjects

  • Arts & Humanities
    --Architecture
    --Visual Arts
  • Mathematics
    --Applied Math
    --Geometry

Grades

Grades 2-up

News Content

Sculptures built from cans of food highlight the annual “Canstruction” competition.

Anticipation Guide

Before reading, you might share with students a couple of the pictures of winning Canstruction® sculptures. You can find those pictures on the home page of the Canstruction competition's Web site at http://canstruction.com/indexi.html. Ask: Can you tell what materials these sculptures are made from? Why do you think people are building these sculptures?

News Words

Introduce the words in the Word Box before reading this week's news story. All of the words relate to the field of architecture. Ask students to define the words. If they do not know the word meanings, share the definitions below.

  • architect -- a person who designs building structures and spaces
  • engineer -- a person who plans, constructs, or manages a project
  • designer -- a person who produces designs (a book cover, a dress, the layout of a living space)

Read the News

Click for a printable version of this week's news story Creative Can Sculptures Help Feed the Hungry.

Reading the News

You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

* Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

* Students might first read the news story to themselves; then call on individual students to read the news aloud for the class.

* Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write a note in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

More Facts to Share

You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this week's news story.

  • The Canstruction competition is trademarked by the Society of Design Administration (SDA), which works closely with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and other members of the design and construction industry.
  • Structures are created by stacking a variety of can sizes and shapes; structures use the product labels as their color pallet. Each structure must be structurally self-supporting.
  • The competition's slogan is "One Can Make a Difference."
  • Last year's competitions took place in 45 cities across North America. Local winners go on to compete via photography at the AIA/SDA national convention.
  • This year's winners included
    --- Jurors' Favorite: "An American Classic" (a hot dog with mustard and ketchup)
    --- Structural Ingenuity Award: "Manhattan Can Chowder" (a colossal sea shell)
    --- Honorable Mention: "A Call to Arms" (an octopus)
    --- Honorable Mention: "Fuel For Thought" (three old-fashioned gas pumps)
    --- Best Use of Labels: "Vote to End Hunger" (a donkey and an elephant, symbols of America's two predominant political parties)
    --- Most Cans: "More Than Just Peanuts" (Snoopy on his doghouse; 12,961 cans)
  • This year's New York City competition donated a record breaking 98,597 pounds of food to the Food Bank for New York City; all together, the competitions donate close to 1,000,000 pounds of food to local food banks.

Comprehension Check

Recalling Detail

  • From what are the Canstruction structures built? (cans of food)
  • How many cans are used to make a Canstruction structure? (anywhere from 1,000 to 13,000)
  • What happens to the food when the Canstruction structures are taken down, or dismantled? (the food is donated to food banks and other organizations that provide food to hungry people)
  • Which Canstruction sculpture won the top prize this year? (a hot dog with mustard and ketchup)
  • What materials other than cans are the structures' architects, engineers, and designers allowed to use? (cardboard, tape, rubber bands, wire, and "leveling" materials up to -inch thick)

Think About the News

  • Discuss the Think About the News question that appears on the students' news page.
  • Do you have a Canstruction competition in your community? (chances are you do not) Ask students how people in your community help to feed the hungry who live in and around your community.

Follow-Up Activities

Graph the Results. Print out images of this year's Canstruction winners at http://canstruction.com/2005winners.html. Cut out the images set them up in a "voting booth." Let students fill out a ballot in which they vote for the sculpture they think is 1) Most Creative and 2) My Favorite. When all students have voted, tally the results. Each student might create a graph to illustrate the results of one of the "elections."

Art. Arrange students into teams of four. Give the teams time to brainstorm a sculpture/structure they might build from cans. Which food product cans might they use to build such a sculpture? Give each team time to present its best idea. Have students vote for the idea they think is the best one. (You might require that members of a team not vote for their own structure.)

Math -- Estimation. Arrange students into pairs or groups of three. Print images from the Canstruction Web site. You might

  • Give each pair/group of students an image of one of the Canstruction structures. Have the group work cooperatively to estimate the number of cans used to build that sculpture. Set aside time for them to present their estimate to the class and to explain how they arrived at it.
  • As an alternative activity, give each pair/group the same two images. Have them estimate the number of cans used. Then set aside time for the students to share and explain -- and then to compare -- their estimates.

Assessment

Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News question on the news story page.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
GRADES K - 4
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-4.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.K-4.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.5-8.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.9-12.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.9-12.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others

See recent news stories in Education World's News Story of the Week Archive.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
Copyright © 2005 Education World

11/23/2005



 

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