The Science Behind Chalk Talk

Students don’t get many opportunities to use chalk, so when you say, “Hey kiddos, were going outside to play with sidewalk chalk”, don’t be surprised if you instantly become everyone’s favorite teacher. As the weather starts to warm up, it’s the perfect time to get your students to go outside to show what they know by drawing models or examples of the science topics you are studying. Chalk Talk science task cards combine art and science. Each science topic contains 20 task cards with a drawing task (the chalk part) and a discussion question (the talk part). There are over 15 Science topics to choose from. Here’s why they work.

1. Students Love to be Outside

Learning doesn’t always have to happen in the classroom. Take your students out on a beautiful day, the sunshine will invigorate them and motivate them to try something new.

2. Students get to Draw

No, this isn’t your normal textbook/worksheet day. This is a fun day (or at least that is what they think…) Drawing is just another way for students to show what they know. Instead of drawing a model on a sheet of paper (yawn…bor-ing), think of how exciting it will be to draw a large-scale model with chalk!

3. Requires Students to Speak

Students will also get an opportunity to practice their communication skills when the answer the discussion question that goes along with their drawing.

4. Makes the Campus a Colorful Place

The art that the students make is truly beautiful and creative.  The chalk stays on the sidewalk until it gets washed away by the rain (or unless you wash it away). You can have different classes put their artwork in different areas of the campus grounds like car rider line, bus ramp, front office, cafeteria, etc. so everyone can see your student work displayed!

5. Art work becomes a Review

After all the students are done in the class, you can have a gallery walk. Every time a student passes some art work, they will stop to check it out. Students will be so excited to show their friends their drawings. It’s like a constant review for students (without having to say, “Take out your notebook and review your notes.”)

Chalk Talk Tips:

Chalk is cheap

You can get a giant tub of 20 pieces of sidewalk chalk for $1.00 at the dollar tree.

Use sidewalks

The beautiful thing about using sidewalks as your canvas is that it is already divided- no complaints about other groups’ drawings invading another group.

Have different classes draw in different areas

This prevents students from copying other groups from another class.

Have a bucket of water/ spray bottle

You can’t exactly erase sidewalk chalk. The only way to get rid of something written with chalk is to get it wet.

Check out the full list of Chalk Talk Task Cards including Chalk Talk Task Cards for State Testing


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