This is the 5th post about my 6th graders' choice art projects to end the year. You can read the first explanatory post here. These are the miscellaneous 3D projects. Clay was not an option for my students since I can only afford enough clay for each student to do one ceramic project a year. Art Straws, cardboard, and papier-mâché were used instead.
If this little sculpture could've stood on its own, I would have loved to show you more than one angle. While the student did some things the hard way- like making each appendage out of a separate Art Straw instead of bending one in half to form the legs- it was a pretty big step for him. When it came time to make the shield, I saw a lot of collaboration. The artist had made the front of the shield but was struggling to figure out how to make his warrior hold it. I was about to fall into old habits and jump right in with a suggestion, when the students he was sitting with beat me to it. Even a couple of students with, shall we say, low motivation were eager to help him solve the problem. I think he ended up making a handle and sliding the arm through it.
This student had to change her first plan for adding the figures after they were too flimsy. I don't think she was totally satisfied with her Art Straw stick figures but we were out of time! I also think the "go green" message was an impulse as it was scrawled in sharpie about a minute before clean up.
This student's plan had to change due to time management! He had a really cool forest built out of Art Straws in the first class period. He started painting the Art Straws in the second but made the poor choice of cleaning up early before he was finished painting his trees in the second class period. By the time I caught him, it was almost time for everyone to clean up! In the third class, he finished painting the trees. The problem with painting Art Straws is that they get kinda flimsy and floppy. He actually tried to tell me he was done with an unpainted base and falling over trees. We talked for a couple minutes and I commented that the trees looked like they were blowing over in a storm. I was happy with his solution of turning it into a hurricane-ish scene by painting the base and adding debris.
Several students asked me if they could use papier-mâché... I told them that they could, but it would take a lot of outside work. I set up the timeline that the 3rd class had to be reserved for painting so the first had to be constructing the base and the 2nd had to be for papier-mâché. One pair of students wanted to make a Gollum head (Lord of the Rings) and it was looking great but the never finished it. A few others wanted to make balls- a volleyball, a softball, and a couple basketballs. I told them it would be hard, and though it was, they did a pretty decent job for their first try. I think if they work with papier-mâché in the future, the students will be able to pack the newspaper tighter. I tried to rotate the wet forms as they dried but only being at the school 2 days a week it didn't really work out. The balls ended up with a flat side. I guess the good part is they won't roll away while displayed. :)
This student tried "cheater" papier-mâché. One of the other elementary art teachers in my district tried covering newspaper forms with a thick layer of mod podge instead of using a traditional papier-mâché technique. It worked pretty well! I think it was especially effective on the solar system project so that the student didn't have to cover the whole black base board. The student sprayed tempera paint to make the look of a stars and it looked really good. Then he gave into one of those impulses and added the orange brush strokes all over the background at the last minute. I think those impulses are part of artistic development. I remember even in high school having a friend in art class just tell me to stop when I was tempted to take a project too far!
This student wanted to make an owl from the beginning but her idea kept evolving. She ended up building the base structure at home and bringing it back to class to finish. I told her I liked the limited color palette, though I wish the trees in the background had more definition, and maybe something to tie them in with the tree the owl is perched on.
I wasn't really sure where this student was heading when he was painting circles and gluing them to the cardboard frame, but I thought it was a fun way to reference a crowd when he was finished.
This student had a lot of fun. She used air dry clay she had at home to make her dog and brought it in the 3rd class period to add to her base. She asked if we had tissue paper to make the foliage and I found some in the closet. She asked if she could go outside to look for sand to add to her path, but I saved her the trouble and brought some play sand over from my other school. The only thing she didn't finish was a butterfly she intended to add on the thin piece of reed sticking up from the center of her base.