Anitra Redlefsen
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home > teaching & workshops > Workshops for Schools and Professional Development Workshops for Teachers > Program: Offering: Pinwheels



Pinwheel Quiz
Pinwheel Word Search


Program Title:

"Pin + Wheel = Fun!"

Science, English Language Arts, and Visual Art ~ Integrated Learning Activity

Program Description:

What shape can be found in cookies, flowers, quilts, windmills, and fireworks? What object has been used as a toy, in visual art displays and exhibitions, as decorative design objects, symbols of peace and good fortune, and in the design of energy generating wind turbines? The simple but beautiful pinwheel! Students will learn about the scientific concepts of wind and energy, and using the visual art elements of design and composition, will create a kinetic work of art ~ a pinwheel! Students will then create a literary piece that relates to what they have learned and experienced in this workshop.

Note: The visual images on the pinwheel can relate to other topics/subjects being studied in the classroom, for example: Chinese symbolism, Earth Day (re-cycling, conservation, etc.), school themes, math connections (tessellations), etc.

Program Length:

2 classroom periods

Learning Activity Goals:

At the end of this Learning Activity, students will:

  1. Understand the scientific concept of wind and how it can be used to create energy.

  2. Learn about the history of the wind and how it has been used to create energy over the years.

  3. Learn how to use the Natural Wind Scale to measure the wind.

  4. Understand and explain age/grade appropriate scientific concepts such as: kinetic and mechanical energy, renewable and non-renewable sources of energy, and primary and secondary sources of energy, wind farms, turbines, etc.

  5. Be able to use measuring tools to create a pinwheel design and the pinwheel itself.

  6. Demonstrate understanding of age/grade appropriate visual art principles of color, shape, pattern, design and composition in creating the visual image for the pinwheel.

  7. Understand what symbols are and use them in the visual art created on the pinwheel.

  8. Complete the Pinwheel Reflection Worksheet, demonstrating understanding of the content of this workshop.

  9. Create a literary work that expresses concepts explored in this workshop and/or the pinwheel making experience.

  10. Share and reflect upon what they have learned in this session with classmates.


A. Science Standards

1. Earth and Space Sciences
3. Physical Sciences
4. Science and Technology

B. English Language Arts Standards

6. Writing Process

C. Visual Arts Standards

1. Historical, Cultural and Social Contexts
2. Creative Expression and Communication
3. Analyzing and Responding
4. Valuing the Arts/Aesthetic Reflection
5. Connections, Relationships and Applications

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