Lesson: Nested Levels of Reality

Lesson: Nested Levels of Reality
The Nested Levels of reality.

The world is a dependable and complicated fiction. This lesson plan explores this loose alliance of reality in nested Matroyska Dolls. This is the lesson: Nested Levels of Reality.

This lesson really seeks to break down the relationships between the way the universe arranges itself. Hee is a diagram with some useful ways of thinking about scales and structures.

Nested Realities from the Organism to the energy that animates it.

Notice where the dolls start, where the light ends and the undulating path from the visible to the virtual. We all take the path from our eye to the photon that enters it for granted. Most kids are not aware that STEAM hangs on the reality that there are structures that make the sciences and art possible.

This exercise will introduce the standard model of physics (and chemistry, biology, botany, astronomy, geology, technology, geometry, and math in a fun and creative way.

Reflection and Teamwork

This project REQUIRES reflection and teamwork. It also works best if the students can craft a story about why nature needs these systems in the order they are presented.

Language and art are just as important as science and math in this exercise. Take advantage of the surprising mystery of the standard model of physics to ask your learners where the great split between the observable world and the quantum realm begins.


  • 10 Nested Matroyska Dolls like these
  • Paints (tempera or acryllic)
  • Various brushes
  • Markers
  • Craft paper
  • 1 Box with a lid and a handle that can be closed
  • Labels


  1. Use the provided PDF to discuss the levels of matter and reality, from the ecosystem – organism to the photon/electron
  2. Use craft paper to sketch ideas for describing each paradigm level
  3. Split kids into 11 groups or 11 kids
    1. Ask kids to reflect on how they want to represent their level of reality
    2. If it is just one kid, ask them to create a story to go into each level that frames the fundamental structure of physics
  4. Start crafting the story and art
  5. Apply the art to the shape
    1. Ask kids to reflect on how difficult it will be to paint or mark the smaller frames of reality
    2. What is the critical information one needs to impart?
  6. Finalize the design
  7. Assemble and store the nested dolls

The Levels Of Reality: Large To Small

0. Ecosystem

  1. Organism
  2. Organ
  3. Cell
  4. Substance/Compound
  5. Molecule
  6. Atom
  7. Proton/Neutron
  8. Subatomic Particle (Quarks and Leptons)
  9. Photon/Electron
  10. Energy

Lesson Integration

This is a useful way to address scale, proportion, chemistry, materials, pathology, energy, conductance/resistance, phase changes, materials science, anatomy, health, ratios, and structural analysis.

Leave the first comment

Related Posts