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Evenings for Educators October 2017 Follow Up Blog: Float Your Boat- A Blended Learning Unit

by Amy Cholkas


Evenings for Educators , learning & interpretation , School Based Learning , Teacher resources , professional development , in the classroom , in the galleries

Evenings for Educators is the museum’s monthly teacher development program. Each event features two teachers (one Elementary and one Secondary) who create and implement a lesson plan in their classroom. Attendees get a copy of that lesson plan in their folders the night of the program and also have the chance to ask the Museum Teachers questions. Each lesson references artwork from the museum’s permanent collection, ties into the theme of the program and incorporates visual art with another discipline. Please enjoy this follow up blog of the Secondary lesson plan by Museum Teacher Amy Cholkas.


October 19th, 2017 Museum Teacher: Amy Cholkas 


If you know anything about today’s students, you know that they love to learn via electronic devices. My art students at New Richmond Middle School recently experienced a blended learning unit based on the Cincinnati Art Museum’s 19th century Model Racing Canoe by the Duala people of Cameroon. Blended learning is student-paced learning which incorporates digital and online media as well as pre-planning and guidance by the teacher.


drawing of Model Racing Canoe


For the first part of my lesson, I had my students use the Zoomify feature on the art museum’s website to carefully OBSERVE and DRAW the Model Racing Canoe from Cameroon. They READ a blog post by the conservation department that explained how conservators skillfully replaced the missing paddles of the canoe. They VIEWED a cropped Edpuzzle video of the Ngondo Water Festival on the Wouri River to understand the continuing importance the river holds to the Duala people. My students also PLAYED an electronic Quizizz game designed to introduce them to the history and geography of Cameroon.


drawing of Model Racing Canoe


Students MADE CONNECTIONS between floating canoes on the Wouri River in Africa to water vessels floating on the Ohio River in America. They WATCHED a broadcast from Channel 12 News in Cincinnati about the annual Cardboard Boat Race in New Richmond, Ohio. They REFLECTED what they had learned by RECORDING their thoughts on a FlipGrid video that other students could view and rate. They APPLIED buoyancy basics about water displacement to solve Buoyancy Brainteasers from NOVA.

Finally, students DESIGNED their own 2 dimensional boat model and then BUILT a 3 dimensional model using tape, cardboard and other recycled materials. Completed drawings and cardboard boats were displayed at October’s Evening or Educators.


paper and cardboard constructions of the Model Racing Canoe