Form Art – The idea of it had always both attracted and repelled me. Every time I see sculptures made by kinder students, I’m amazed but the mess it would call for kept it out of my class room. But now I decided it’s time to get things done.
I decided on a recycled project and couldn’t help choose Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback to go with the lesson. I had read aloud this book in my previous reading group and had been waiting to plan a lesson.
It is about a man named Joseph who makes something new out of his old and worn overcoat. The story doesn’t stop there. He always figures out new things to make from his old and worn things and finally proves that something could always be made out of anything, even nothing. I felt this lesson to be only too important for kids of this age. What’s more, the book also has beautiful and interactive illustrations and the way Taback has incorporated something from the following page in almost every page is just too inviting to keep reading. Psst! I’ll say no more and let you read and explore it by yourself.
I decided to let the kids create something out of recyclables. So here’s what you need:
- Recylables (choose from the different types listed below)
- Cardboard boxes (varying sizes)
- Yoghurt cups/other plastic tubs
- Styrofoam vegetable trays
- Old plastic container lids (I have tons of these)
- Bottle caps – I had been collecting these for a while
- Any other creative stuff you can find
- Acrylic Paints (remember to protect your surface more than you would for regular projects, I had to learn this the hard way)
- Large paint brushes (I chose painting brushes from hardware store, which were far cheaper than art store brushes)
- Masking tape (get the easily removable type but strong enough to hold boxes together)
- Hot glue (I used this myself)
Demonstrate and build
I had prepared to demonstrate what could be done with the materials provided to them. I chose to make a robot because not only is it easy to understand, but we could make varieties even if all the kids choose to make a robot too. After I showed them what I would do, I passed a roll of tape to each of them. Of course, given their age, tearing the tape while still keeping hold of the materials was quite challenging. So I ended up tearing the tape and sticking it to the edge of the table.
It was hard work for the kinders but they surprised me with their creativity and persistence. They all thought differently and came up with totally different but mind-blowing structures during the short lesson. Yes, their structures were filled with tape which made it difficult to see what had been done, so I helped them hot glue the pieces together and remove the tape.
Finish it with acrylic paint
The next session, I setup acrylic paints and large brushes along with their sculptures and allowed them to paint the colour of their choice. After one exciting and totally messy hour, we had these wonderful sculptures.