How to make a Spirograph and Orbit-Inspired Art
Meets the learning standards for grades 4-5 (can be adapted)
Media Type: Drawing
Subject: English Language Arts and Reading, Science, Social Studies, Fine Arts
Formal Lesson Plan and TEKS Information

The following project includes one full week of lessons pulling inspiration from objects in space to explore the aesthetics of trajectory, repetition, and pattern.  Use common household materials to construct a Spirograph tool. Click through the buttons at the bottom of each page to move on to the next day of lessons!

Day 5

Materials: paper, colored pens/pencils/fine-tipped markers, corrugated cardboard, white school glue/hot glue, scissors/cutting glue, ruler or straight edge, various sizes of round objects to trace, pushpin/safety pin/needle, eraser (optional)

Activity:

  • Today, we’re going to create varying size jigs and attempt to create artworks reflecting the previous lessons about eclipses and orbits.
  • Represent the positions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon within the spirograph “orbits” when both a solar and lunar eclipse occur.
  • Use different size sprockets and jigs to represent multiple planets within our solar system.

Need a refresher? Click below for instructions on creating your sprockets and jigs!

Closing:

Share… Reflect!  How did the spirograph relate to the theme of orbits and eclipses? What is the potential relationship between the map reading exercises and the subject of orbits?  What are other functions and uses for the study of orbits?

Want to know more? Meet the NASA scientist responsible for monitoring and tracking the orbits of near-earth asteroids: