Sunday, February 5, 2017

Birdhouse Art

I've got STUFF! Stuff I want my students to use to create art. Stuff I want to use up to make some shelve space in the art room.

There are these really nice foam rectangles, that in a previous life were packing material. And the blue tube thingies from a parent that is a nurse. A shout out to Mrs. Mendonca & Mrs. Rogers!
Turns out that the foam pieces are thick enough to stand up on it's side.

The idea of being able to stand the foam on it's side and display the art standing up got me thinking about what kind of a project I could do with it.  Continuing with my functional art unit I decided to do birdhouses with my 2nd & 3rd graders. The blue thingies would work well as a perch.

I shared with students some photos off the internet of creative style birdhouses-and believe me there are plenty. Tea kettles, airplanes, animals......  It really sparked their imagination!

 I had paper available in both 4 1/2" x 12" and 6" x 9" in white. Then it occurred to me, do I want them coloring in the whole piece of paper or should they just use colored paper?  I then cut up an assortment of colored paper for them to use. Also had lots of scraps available.

 Students made a basketball, donuts, ice cream (with a spoon for a perch), soft ball and a boot.
 Originally I had them use white liquid glue to join their birdhouse to the foam, but it bled through and faded out the color. So we switched to glue sticks.

 Pencils, more ice cream (seriously started to crave ice cream and went out for some after school).
Trucks, dinosaur, dress, hamburger with a fork for a perch!
And what's a birdhouse without the bird? I have a lot of white Model Magic by Crayola in which students made birds.
Not many students wanted a white bird so we colored the stuff. There are a few different ways to color Model Magic. The easiest is with a marker. Color with marker and fold the color inward, to keep your fingers from getting dirty. Continue to color, fold and mix the Model Magic together until you have the color you want.

 Make a small and a large sphere and stick them together. Pinch out a beak, a tail and poke eyes in with a pencil. Adding feathers is optional and of course pretty cool! The beauty of Model Magic is that it is not clay and the stuff sticks without a problem AND air dries. Now to get the bird to stay on a perch, we used pipe cleaners to make legs.
 I demonstrated how to wrapped half of a pipe cleaner around the perch (there were an assortment of items being used as perches) 4 times.
 Twisted the ends together, trimmed it if necessary and then I sat the bird unto it's legs.
 Then I inserted the perch under the fake hole of the birdhouse.

Students were excited to be making the birdhouses. They were hoping to make actual houses to hang up in their yards. Soooo I explained about making a prototype or a model of a birdhouse. I connected it to traveling salesmen 200 years ago. Do you think they would travel with a potbelly stove to sell or bring a prototype with them? As an craftsmen would you make a hundred of the same thing to sell or make one and take orders? Which is a better way to spend your time and money?

 Many of my students never experienced Model Magic and couldn't wait to work with it. That was the most expensive part of this project. I did buy the class pack and each individual package made 3 birds so maybe consider writing a grant for the stuff if your budget can't handle it.

Have you tried Model Magic with your Students??

Thanks for reading!!

P.S. Who is planning on attending the National Conference in New York City next month?? I WILL be there, please say hello and introduce yourself!

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