SCHOOL PROJECTS/ how to make a diorama

Aug 2, 2016 | Likes

What is a diorama?

I can’t remember our teachers asking us to make one, thus I do not have an idea how to create a diorama.  For my very creative 11-year old boy, though, he patiently explained to me that a diorama — same explanation I got when I googled it — is a three-dimensional model of a historical time period, a nature scene, or a fictional situation either enclosed in a glass showcase or pasted on a hard platform or cardboard.

Firstborn’s third quarter project  for Civics and Culture was to create a diorama depicting the Spanish influence on religion and education here in the Philippines.  I was very honest with my son when I told him I do not know how to be of help to him.   He reassured me though that he can manage, but requested his mother to buy a few materials he will be needing for the project.

My boy was given a week to complete his diorama.  And every after school, he would go straight to the computer room to work on his diorama.  I visited him once in a while to check on the progress of his project.

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he asked me to buy him plastic GI Joes. when I visited him one night, this was what I saw– he and his younger brother were playing with the plastic GI Joes!

1.  Firstborn made a detailed sketch of his ideal diorama.   He also listed all the materials he will be needing.

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the rough sketch for his diorama

 

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2.  With all the materials beside him, he started with his building frame.  He chose to make a mini-UST because as he explained to me, it was during the early years of Spanish colonization when education was mostly religion-oriented and was controlled by Spanish friars.

 

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3.  After his UST frame, he started adding details such as Spanish friars, students, and trees.  He used molding clay for these.

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after the frame was all done and competed, first-born started with his clay trees and peeps

 

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I told him to make trees. he initiated to use modeling clay. it was also his idea to include red fruits (apple) and yellow ones (mango). he even made some benches and flower pots.

 

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I woke up the next morning and saw my grilling pan all occupied with clay people in barong and baro’t saya. that yellow thing the binibinis were holding — pamaymay or fan.

4.  He printed the facade of UST and covered his frame with this printout.  He used felt paper to cover his 1/2 illustration board.  He glued his clay figures and mini-UST in place.   He completed the look by including walkways.

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top view of my firstborn’s diorama

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firstborn’s diorama all laid in a 1/2 illustration board 

 

I’ve observed that our young man had fun making his diorama.  He diligently finished his work without asking for his parents’ help.  He also followed the timeline he set for himself.  And above all, this project allowed him to prove to himself that he can be creative and he can innovate.

Dear son, you showed so much love on your studies.  We expect that same enthusiasm for the next quarter.  May you never tire to explore and learn. We  wish you all the best! And of course, we are always proud of you!

* (December 2013) I compiled and shared some of the school projects made by my boys in order to help other students with their research.  It has always been this momi’s intention to offer help the best way she can.

62 Comments

  1. Melanie Smith

    Thank you so much for this post. I am not good with dioramas.

    Reply
  2. Amy Jones

    So interesting, I didn’t know what is a Diorama until now. That’s a very good result at the end!

    Reply
  3. Dawn McAlexander

    I have never made a diorama before. Heck, I wasn’t even sure that I knew what one was. I am glad that you showed me how. I made need to do this someday.

    Reply
  4. Shanna Uptergrove

    I love that you included a message for HIM at the end of this post. That is so amazing of you- not a lot of families are as lucky as those like yours. It is an awesome diorama. My kids have made one of the Alamo and they love working on things like that for school!

    Reply
  5. Kendra

    I remember making a diorama of the solar system when I was a kid. Yours son’s looks great!

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Wow! Of a solar system! Such a creative concept I must say. And ow, thank you for finding my son’s work great.

      Reply
  6. Elizabeth O.

    I remember making these when I was younger and helping the kids make it too when they needed it for school! Oh how I miss those days. It’s always fun and exciting to make dioramas!

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      It is indeed fun. But i would rather opt to watch them create dioramas than help as I might bring mess than help. Ehehe.

      Reply
  7. savingcmncents

    I think it’s great that your son is so engaged with his learning! I’m so grateful my 3 girls love school, learning, and creating too. P.S. I think the clay people are adorable!

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Thank you. i find the clay people as well as too cute. Ihihi. And such a good news your kids love learning and school. i wish them all the best!

      Reply
  8. Liz Mays

    What a great way for kids to learn! I remember making these as a child and they were so fun to do!

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      I bet it was fun. I had fun as well just looking at him did his diorama.

      Reply
  9. jasminekeclipse

    This post reminded me so much of when I was in school! I loved making dioramas in class, I think they’re a great creative alternative to book reports, etc.

    Jasmine / http://www.jasminekeclipse.com

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Great idea. May be proposed as an alternate to book reports.

      Reply
  10. Moronman

    I am always fascinated with dioramas; too bad I do not have the artistic inclination to create one hahaha!!!

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Hahaha. Me, too. No creative juices flowing

      Reply
  11. robin masshole mommy

    Here if a child is assigned a diorama, it’s done inside a shoebox. Funny how it’s not the same meaning.

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      It should fit in a box, as I was told. But the teacher instructed them to use an illustration board instead.

      Reply
  12. momknowsbest15

    Your son is very creative. He did a great job on this project.

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Thank you. And i hope he displays the same enthusiasm in his other subjects.

      Reply
    • momi berlin

      He indeed worked hard for it
      And he loves school thus puts his heart into it.

      Reply
  13. Terri Ramsey Beavers

    What a clever young man and what a great idea. I can’t wait for my grand kids to start having school projects.

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Yes, it would surely be fun and exciting seeing your grand kids make their own projects.

      Reply
  14. Karlaroundtheworld | Karla

    Making Dioramas is still one my favorite activities, there are websites that let you create them digitally. I was mostly bad with the real ones though so I find kids and teens like yours very talented.

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      That’s cool, creating them digitally. I also find those kids creating diorama a real genius. Hihi

      Reply
  15. Lisa Hodges

    I love this! My son had one and it was fun to watch him create it.

    Reply
  16. Madz

    Wow UST! Looks great! I made a diorama in highschool about what a typical city would look like during the Spanish colonial period.It’s a lot of work.

    Reply
  17. Rosey

    What a fun idea. The first time I heard about a diorama was in a kids’ book. I wish I could remember the name of it because it was so good!

    Reply
  18. Heather Pfingsten

    First, I had no idea what a diorama was until I just looked at all of the pictures. He did an amazing job. He’s so organized and I love his chart of daily things to do. Too cool and I am sure you are more than a proud momma!

    Reply
  19. Jenny

    I remember making these in school!! My daughter made one in second grade for St Patricks day she loved making it!

    Reply
  20. Abby

    This is a useful guide! I remember when I was still a student, I always hated projects that involved making diorama.

    Abby | Life in the Fash Lane

    Reply
  21. Abie Dizon

    I remember doing a diorama when I was in grade school, omg memories. My mom actually did it for me lol

    Reply
  22. Janine Ella

    Thank goodness we weren’t asked to do this in school back then!!! I can’t imagine doing it because I am definitely not creative like your son! Good job on his project! 🙂

    xx, Wandering Ella

    Reply
  23. yogoandcream

    I could recall the days we do a diorama too. It was too tasking, but the end result is satisfying.

    Reply
  24. Rachel Mouton

    I love this! My kids had to make a diorama last year and it was not as easy as it may seem 🙂

    Reply
  25. jayresa03

    He’s good in making Diorama ah. Better than my students, I swear. My students are just making projects for the sake of making them, not really putting too much effort on it.

    Reply
  26. Ane

    That is so cool!

    I hate it when my kids have projects that need to be created and built like these because I am not crafty! Haha 😛

    Reply
  27. Dianne

    I was surprised he actually have his timeline for the project. I can remember doing my projects back in grade school, rushing. I wish I knew how to create timeline back then. This is also a good way to teach him time management. Your son looks smart!

    Reply
  28. middleageddiva

    I always say that I’m glad I don’t have kids because I just would be terrible at this stuff. But you make it seem possible.

    Reply
  29. Saswati Bhoi

    This is such an useful post!! Thanks for sharing!! I’ve bookmarked it for future reference!! 🙂

    Reply
  30. The Mad Mommy

    Your son did an amazing job! It is ok to admit that we don’t always know the answers or know how to do everything.

    Reply
  31. Christina Aliperti

    This is an awesome diorama. I had forgotten about them till now. Ours were made in shoe boxes.

    Reply
  32. Yona

    I’m pretty sure we made some sort of diorama when I was in school…can’t remember exactly for what, though. I love the creativity that your son has shown here…and very cool to bake clay figurines.

    Reply
  33. Leigh Anne

    I love the idea of making education come alive. Dioramas are a great way to do that!

    Reply
  34. Karlyn Cruz

    Diorama sounds a tough project. I learned a lot from this post of yours.

    Reply
  35. Simona

    I also didn’t know about dioramas until now. So thank you so much, it sounds very interesting!

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      It is indeed interesting. Thank you for dropping by.

      Reply
  36. Sarah Bailey

    These are always so much fun! I love seeing how he put this one together. Awesome job!

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Thank you. It was indeed a fun bonding between mom and son and even siblings.

      Reply
  37. Krystle Cook

    We love making dioramas in our house when they are assigned! So much fun to show what you have learned like this.

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Yes, such a fun way to show how much youve learned about the subject matter.

      Reply
  38. fashionphases

    First time hearing of dioramas. He did an amazing time.

    Reply
  39. Fashion Travels (@tauyanm)

    this looks nice! my daughter is still doing this last time which is good coz she loves art and crafts so much! diorama is a fun thing to do

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Yey, diorama is a fun way to learn. Learned so much when my boy did that project.

      Reply
  40. Rowena C

    UST! hhehehe. This is what I miss when I was studying. Even though I do not excel in doing it still I feel proud whenever I finish my art work.

    Reply
  41. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    I have a son and I love to help him in his projects. It’s a great way of bonding too.

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Yes, i agree. Such a great way to bond with kids.

      Reply
  42. Wildish Jess

    I remember making these in middle school but I definitely don’t remember it being called that! lol

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      Haha. Perhaps each of us were asked to make one. We werent sure though of the name. Haha

      Reply

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  1. education: best gift your papa and i could ever give | mga pahina ni msbolin - […] school pRoject: fiRst-boRn’s dioRama (msbolin.wordpress.com) […]

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