What in the world is an icosahedron you ask? It is a 20 sided 3D shape that makes for a PERFECT Christmas art project.
A long time ago (9 years) I did this project with a group of students and then forgot all about it. Well this year I wanted to do an art project with my class that could be hung up.
I searched Pinterest and didn’t find any inspiration. How can that be you ask? I know, I know. No inspiration on Pinterest….unheard of. Anyways I pulled out an old box and saw my flattened example of a icosahedron and I knew instantly I wanted my kiddos to make their own.
Here is a look at the finished product!
-materials to color with, scissors, glue stick, string, circle template (see below)
Click here to get a FREE copy of the template.
Step 1: Have students decorate 20 of the circles. Click on the link above for a copy of the template.
They may complain that they have to do 20 of them and that they won’t have enough ideas. I alleviated this worry by having the class brainstorm a list of possible things to draw. Each time we worked on the icosahedrons the list was put up.
I also told them that if they were really stuck they could do 2 of the same design therefore only having to come up with 10 ideas (not one students picked this option).
Tip: Do not cut out any circles until all 20 are colored. I also have my students lightly put their initials on the back of the circles when they cut them out so if they are dropped on the floor they can get back to the rightful owner.
Tip: I let my students use stencils if they wanted to so that students who were self-conscious of their drawing abilities could have fun and be creative.
Step 3: Take 5 of the folder circles and glue (glue sticks work best) the sides together as the picture shows. Once students glue together the last 2 flaps it will pop up to create a half dome shape. This will become the top or the bottom of the final icosahedron.
Do this twice creating 2 separate 5-sided domes.
Students will now have used 10 of their circles.
Tip: Before gluing the top on make sure you attach string through the middle of one of the domes so you can hang it up.
Step 4: With the remaining 10 circles, have students glue them together to create a long strip like the picture shows.
Step 5: Take the top dome and the long strip. Glue the top flaps of the long strip to the flaps on the dome working your way around the dome circle. To check as you go along, when you are gluing the flaps together you will be creating groups of 5 circles. This may sound confusing right now but it becomes very clear as you are gluing!
Once the top dome is glued to the long strip repeat step 5 with the bottom dome.
When the icosahedron is complete students can hang them up!
I know that Christmas has come and gone and you may not be able to make Christmas icosahedron right now but you can either save this for next year or adapt it to use right now.
You can have a icosahedron with a different theme; Valentine‘s Day, Spring, Summer, a unit in Science, or use it for teaching 3-D shapes in Math.