Earth Day Cardboard Challenge, Part 1



We were excited to learn that The Imagination Foundation was sponsoring another cardboard challenge this year! We had a great time at our last one. This time, though, there is a specific theme: The 2016 Earth Day Cardboard Challenge. This challenge goes from April 1 to April 22 (Earth Day). Kids are encouraged to use recyclables to make new creations with an environmental theme.

We have some ideas for later in the month (see this old post for a hint!) But to kick off the month, we reused some old materials to solve a very real problem in our classroom. This year we have round collaboration tables instead of desks in our classroom, and they are wonderful for group work and discussions. The only problem with them comes up at test-taking time, when we each need a private space. The privacy dividers we used to use on our desks didn’t fit very well on the new collaboration tables and they were frustrating to use. With our state testing coming up this month, we knew we needed to find a new solution.

The idea came from cardboard project boards. Usually these get used once and then discarded, but they make great privacy partitions if you cut them in half! (If you didn’t have these project boards, you could use three sides of a cardboard box.) You could leave them blank, color them, or write inspirational messages inside. For ours, though, we decided to decorate the insides with pictures from nature. We cut pictures from a stash of old calendars we had in the classroom, and we each chose the pictures we liked the best to glue inside the dividers. Did you know that a recent study showed that looking at images from nature can help with decision making and self-control? We’re curious to see if it helps us concentrate when we’re taking a test! We’ll let you know what we think after we try them out later this week. Here’s a Flipagram showing some of our finished creations.

What types of nature scenes are most relaxing for you?

What else could you do with a cardboard project divider?


  1. These are beautiful. My favorite part of this project was you were able to create one that “spoke” to you. Can’t wait to see you use these.

    Keep up the good work!
    Mrs. Farris

  2. Dear Mrs. Hamman,

    I really enjoyed making these as I found the ones with trees or waterfalls most relaxing. It is really cool to see what things you could do with a bottom of a cardboard divider. You could create something simple like something to use with a soccer ball or something more complex like drawing to create a made up character.

    Your Student,

  3. Dear, Mrs.Hamman

    It really did help me with my test to stay focus and on task. I also had really fun making them with very pretty pictures.

  4. I think the most rellaxing was everyone’s and I can’t make up my mind.

  5. The nature pictures I like are the pictures that have water falls and trees.

  6. The nature scenes that relax me are pictures of wooded areas.

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