Construct a model of a virus to hang in the classroom. Bonus challenge: make it from natural materials (vs. foam and plastic straws). No food substances allowed.
This is one of those assignments that piques my interest, and that I don't feel guilty about helping with. It qualifies as a family project. Really -- what's actually being learned here?
So, first, the virus: we went with the colorful and fascinating influenza germ:
We discussed carving and painting a styrofoam ball, but frankly: boring. Then it hit me: needle felting! It's a craft I recently learned, had a brief fling with making Easter eggs, then couldn't think of anything else to make that wasn't a bit too twee. Perfect for a flu virus!! Plus Henry enjoys poking a ball of wool roving with a very sharp barbed needle - an excellent craft for a kid who avoids all crafts.
I think we nailed it, don't you? So did the teacher - we, I mean Henry, got an A.