This one was quite the endeavor, but fourth grade was up for the challenge! I've been using the white board a lot lately so the kids can draw along with me, rather than demonstrating a couple steps at one table them releasing them. That's just way too much transitioning for me. We started this project by mapping out the six squares with a ruler. We made 3 inch boxes, so I had them start with the three cross-section squares. They lined their ruler up with the left edge of their paper and made marks at 1, 4, 7, and 10, then went built the cube from there. It was crucial to do a scan of the room after each step to make sure they were using their ruler, otherwise the cube doesn't fit together well at all.
Once we got the cube laid out, I walked through how to draw each optical illusion in pencil. I made photocopy handouts they could refer to while we were drawing, too. I reminded them that any with a "bullseye" center started with "an X and a T." Those steps took up the whole first class, so they didn't begin coloring until the following period. Although many of them could clearly see form the handout how to color the boxes to look like an illusion, I made them watch any way. The trick is that each illusion in a checkerboard, never solid stripes. A lot of them slopped through it pretty quickly, so I had them go back and outline each individual piece so there were no fuzzy lines, only sharp.
For the third and final class, they drew the tabs on their cube (the handout had the correct one, the one above had waaay too many, but too many can be fixed, unlike no enough). I showed them how to cut it out and fold on every edge, including the tabs. Gluing it together was really tough for a good majority of them, so I gave them the option of taping along the edges. Prior to gluing, though, they punched two hole in two corners adjacent to each other. Once the cube was constructed, they strung string through them and attached a name tag.
I hung a class string from my coat hooks so I could gradually tie them all together in layers. Once i got the class strung together, I pinned them from the ceiling right outside of my door. A few kids were really bent out of shape about the collaboration thing, so they chose not to hang theirs with the class. That was a battle I just didn't have the energy to fight, especially on Grandparent's Day!
I kind of like that they were hung above eye level, because any flaws were not noticed when they were combined as a group. And, let's be honest! They look awesome together!