Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dropped in My Lap

One of the reasons I love being an art teacher is the creativity aspect. People like to give you stuff instead of throwing it out. Sometimes that's good and sometimes not so much.

Three really cool projects I did with my students were the results of people getting rid of stuff.

The first one was a store going out of business. They donated a few boxes of plastic palettes that was passed along to me. Since I was not gonna let students use them for painting and then have to be washing them. Yeah, yeah I know. I should be training students to do that, but NOT with ONE sink. (Besides, I prefer to use cheap paper plates that I can throw out.) While trying to think of what to do with the palettes, I showed them to a few students and one boy asked if we could paint on 'em. WOW! Make paintings on palettes! Did I say WOW?
Students first did their drawings on paper, then transferred them to the palettes. They used acrylic paint and sharpies to color them. I don't think any two were the same and it was spectacular!

The second project was based on a cabinet full of empty containers. Since I had never seen this type of bowl before, I did a little research in the supermarket. They were a split container formerly holding fruit and cottage cheese or yogurt. As I held them in my hand, I realized that I could hold them in a way that would make the split on the bottom move together like a mouth opening and closing. Perfect for puppets!


I made a pattern and pre-cut the fabric. Basically, because I figured it would be too much of a headache and make the project take too long if I let students do it. However, I did want the students to see the steps it took to get it to that point.

Students painted the bottom or the puppet face with acrylic paint Thanks to my Elmo (or document camera) demonstrating how to thread a needle, knot the end and sew up the front seam was easy! Then students used a hot glue gun to attach a braided trim to the underside of the container. And then they sewed the body to the braided trim. The sad part is, once the containers were gone, there were no more puppets to be made.......

The third and last project were these banners.

One of the classroom teachers had bags and bags of beads in her garage she wanted to get rid of. The beads were SO small that they seemed like grains of sand. So we did sand painting! I had felt, yarn, dowels and beads for the end of the dowels. I put the beads in with watered down glue. Students then used the glue bottles to apply the different colored mixtures. There was some clogging so I cut off the white plastic piece under the orange tip and it seemed to work better. They were so beautiful!

Has anything dropped in your lap lately to inspire you?
Thanks for reading!


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