Objects often looked different when viewed from different angles. A fun, and often non-trivial, activity is to draw an object as viewed from the front, side, top, etc. This week in class, we used cubes from the puzzle game Q-bits to build towers and draw their various views.
Here are my best attempts at capturing the front, side, and top views of an example tower:
The views from the sides that were flat (in our case generally the front) presented little difficulty. Non-flat sides, however, were often a challenge. In a future lesson it would be good to do the inverse activity, where the kids have to construct the tower based on its top, front, and side views. In my opinion this should be more challenging, but I often find that my intuition for what is hard or easy for kids is far from perfect. Of course, these sort of things are also very kid dependent.
As a final note, this activity was very similar to the one of finding 2D projections of 3D objects. The main difference is that the cubes we used had pictures on them that the kids had to also draw. On one hand, having the pictures forces the drawings to be more intricate, but on the other hand, the pictures provide context and more concreteness to the drawings. Once again, opinions about the relative difficulties of the two vary. What are your thoughts?