The Girl Who Thought in Pictures book next to a spinning selfie icon

Make a Spinning Selfie

We’ve created an activity guide on Spinning Selfies inspired by The Girl who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin written by Julia Finley Mosca and illustrated by Daniel Rieley. Dr. Grandin is an incredible scientist, animal rights advocate, and spokesperson on autism and neurodiversity. We’ve added this book to the Chill Zone at reDiscover Center. Explore how your brain works by making your own Spinning Selfie using recycled materials from home!

STEP 1 - Gather Your Materials

Possible Materials. Cardboard. A brass fastener. Decorating materials like construction paper. Coloring tools like markers or paint. Tools. Something to cut cardboard with like a canary cutter or scissors. Something to poke a hole with like an awl, screwdriver or pushpin. A round object for tracing, like a roll of tape or bowl. Glue.

STEP 2 - Make your Face Shape

Design and cut out a face shape and a smaller circle. Tracing around a round object like a roll of tape or a cup makes a perfect circle!
*Cutting Tip! Drawing first, then cutting on the line, is a good way to plan and practice cutting accurately.
Decorate your face and your spinning wheel. When Dr. Temple Grandin was little, she realized she thought differently from other children around her - in pictures!

STEP 3 - Decorate!

Find inspiration from your recycling bin! You can find cool images, colors, and patterns from packaging, magazines, and stickers.

How does your brain work? What do you think about a lot?

“I decorated two sides of my spinning wheel. The top part is all about how much I love being around nature and how excited I am about spring coming! The bottom is full of stickers and cut outs of fruit, candy, and drinks I found. I chose these because I loooove sweets!”

STEP 4 - Make your Face Shape

Design and cut out a face shape and a smaller circle. Tracing around a round object like a roll of tape or a cup makes a perfect circle!
*Cutting Tip! Drawing first, then cutting on the line, is a good way to plan and practice cutting accurately.

Going Further

End your guide with suggestions about what to do to extend the activity. How might someone who finds this super exciting or super easy do more? Are there other guides to point them to, or topics, or websites?

For Adult Helpers

One option, depending on how young the activity guide is directed toward, is to give tips to adults who are assisting. Let them know what parts might need help, and when they should let the kids try it on their own for a bit before jumping in to do it for them. If there are any guiding questions you haven't included elsewhere, this is a good place for it. Perhaps suggest a way that the adults can share a relevant experience of their own.

Activity guides for Facilitators and teachers are a different ball of wax. They include a lot more about prepping and running the activity, especially for a group. They might include a list of the Standards they incorporate. Those have a different activity guide template.