Tag Archives: recycled art

Colonial Whirlygigs

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Grade 5 learns about the Colonial Period and I like to link my art lessons to classroom curriculum when I can. This lesson brings together several areas of learning into one lesson. It is a great STEAM lesson as well because of the motion and the math of a measuring a circle.

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In years past, I have used donated cardboard and we had parent helpers cut the discs.

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This year, I had some funds in my Artsonia account and used those to purchase round cardboard from Amazon.

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Students decorated both sides of the disc. Then punched 2 holes 1-2 finger widths apart in the center of the discs. I had them measure the center and we talked about how we measure circles which tied in to their recent math lesson where they measured the tether ball courts on the playground and learned about pi.

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The hammer and nail punching was not necessary with this year’s soft corrugated cardboard but last year, we used donated ram board and that stuff is hard so hammer and nails were a necessity. The kids love trying new tools so this was a way to teach them about and to use a hammer and nails.

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I showed them how to string a piece of thread through the discs and tie them off. Then I show them how to make them spin. The students had to do something colorful on one side and the other side could be their choice.

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If you make these, be sure to leave time to play at the end of class. My students really enjoyed playing after creating.

 

 

 

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Collage Birds

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Years ago I saw some collaged cardboard birds. After my best friend died, her kids and mine did a grief group each week with activities from the Dougy Center. This activity wasn’t from there but I loved the idea of 3D birds and the kids and I liked doing art together. We made the “word birds” below.

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For that project, we put a word about what we needed on one side and what we loved about ourselves on the other. My thought was they could put the bird in their room in a place people could see it like on their dresser or desk and when they needed some extra TLC, they put that side out facing the world. When they were doing okay, the side of what they liked about themselves showed.

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This year after getting a giant box of cardboard packing triangles, oodles of paper strips and having loads of scrap paper, I had my students do these birds.

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They are really colorful. For the feathers, we used edger scissors  that cut interesting patterns as you cut. Kids LOVE using those scissors and I have a lot of them as they were given to my own kids over the years.

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If the students wanted to, they could add words when they were finished but many did not.

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I had them fold card stock in half, draw a bird shape, collage both sides and glue them together.I did this in a step by step fashion after the first group struggled a bit.

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I learned with the first group that several of them collaged the same side and then the bird would not go together. So for the next group, I had them cut out the birds, have them lay them flat then have them “kiss” or touch tails and draw an “X” on each side that was facing up.

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This helped prevent them from collaging the wrong side. I showed them how to glue the beaks and tail feathers on one side so that it would sandwich between when the project was complete. Most of them understood that part, some did not.

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They were instructed to decorated all sides of the triangle and leave the bottom of the bird open. They brought them to me and I stapled the triangle feet for them.

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