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Ice Wall Creation
Sunday 24 August 2008
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Develop a project linking arts and science: set, in the schoolyard, an “ice wall".


- to discover and experiment different techniques allowing the observation of the various states of water
- Combine arts and science: create an artwork with ice

- To observe the changing of water states. Identify them.
- To develop a visual creation project from these observations.


- Tubs (rectangular salvaged ice-cream packages of one litre)
- Food or natural colourings
- Inks
- Materials picked up in the garden
- A freezer
- Photos and postcards displaying winter landscapes.




Before the session,

- Observe photos of artworks set in the nature. For example, observe the setting of leaves and petals from Nils-Udo.
- Imagine building such settings in the schoolyard on the winter theme: an ice wall.
- Make the children realize the winter colours by observing photos and postcards. The pupils specify the features of this wall: the cold, the ice, the cold colours, materials fallen during autumn that stay when the winter arrives.
- Search for techniques to build an ice wall.
- Make ice cubes: the pupils don’t easily understand that ice can be of another size than the ice made in ice tubs. Make them create ice cubes to see that gathering small ice cubes is a long and complex process. The children propose to make big ice cubes with bigger tubs (1 litre).
- Gather the ice blocks in the schoolyard

Refer to the images. Develop the project to associate some elements to ice:
- colours: find a way to colour ice. The pupils who have already experimented the food colourings in the kitchen could use it and make experiments. Others propose inks…
- observe the ice blocks in the light. Propose to make other blocks inserting natural elements from the garden (chestnuts, leaves, holly, earth, grass…)

At the end of the afternoon, gather the ice blocks one next to another and make the whole thing rest on a wall or railings. Observe the difference of light according to the medium and the ice transparency.

Take a photo of this collective short-lived work.


- Observe the schoolyard as seasons pass.
- In science class, experiment the different states of water, its cycle.


It will turn around knowledge on science:

Realize that:

- water does transform in ice in the freezer and at low temperature
- the colouring dissolves itself in the entire water volume
- if you put an object in water and freeze the whole thing, the water transforms into ice around the object.

Laurence Sidersky , Nursery School Alsace Saint Germain-Laye Yvelines France

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