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Nutcracker Portraits

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This December lesson was incredibly successful for 4 reasons:

1. Interest was high because every student was participating in our winter musical: The Nutcracker. 

2. The lesson was structured yet allowed for creative choices.

3. Every step and part was demonstrated.

4. GLITTER!!!

December lessons work best when presented in small, highly structured doses. Full color visuals were available at every table, charts of different parts were presented as needed, and real nutcrackers were on display for inspiration. Students chose 2 or 3 colors for the jacket and hat, just like teams use the same 2 or 3 colors for their uniforms and headgear.

Day 1-Jacket

  • Critique images of nutcrackers’ uniforms, noting colors, shapes, details, designs, etc.
  • Select colors from precut papers:   1 12″x 6″ for jacket,  2 4″ x 6″ pieces for the jacket center and shoulders, 1   2″ x 6″ piece for the very center of the jacket.
  • Glue the jacket and center pieces down.
  • Fold and trim the shoulder pieces and then glue into place.
  • Add sashes, medals, etc.

Day 2-Face

  • Select skin toned paper.  Trace and cut a circle. Glue onto the jacket, slightly overlapping the jacket.
  • Add cut paper/Sharpie eyes in the center of the face.  Add eyebrows with Sharpies. Refer to charts for samples.
  • Add cheeks if desired, using colored paper or colored pencils.
  • Draw a simple long triangle or circle nose in Sharpie.
  • Practice and draw a mustache under the nose.
  • Add a small red rectangle for the open mouth.  Cut teeth from white paper and glue into place.
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Day 3-Hat or crown and hair

  • Repeat at least 2 colors that were used in the jacket.
  • Cut a symmetrical hat or crown.
  • Add details with colored paper.
  • Draw hair with a Sharpie.

Day 3-Glitter/beard

  • Outline the entire headpiece with glue.  Make sure to have the glue TIP TOUCH paper to ensure a uniform line.
  • Outline shapes on the hat with glue, and add small glue shapes if desired.
  • Sprinkle glue on the entire hat all at once.
  • Shake off the extra glitter into a cup.
  • Outline all parts of the jacket with glue.  Include glue buttons and fringe.
  • Sprinkle glue on the entire jacket all at once.
  • Shake of the extra glue into a cup.
  • Add a faux fur beard along the bottom of the mouth.

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Paper Mache Puppets Grade 3

2014-05-13 14.56.16 puppet

We haven’t made paper mache puppets in ages due to the time consuming steps involved.  Eliminating the paint/dry/paint steps saved work time and prep time.  Students started with a styrofoam ball and then added Model Magic to form animal heads.  They carefully wrapped the heads in aluminum foil to hold the Model Magic in place.  Ears were cut from cardboard, covered in foil and then taped to the head.  I had to cut slits in the head to hold some of the wobbly ears.  Students added 2 layers of tissue paper and Mod Podge for color.  Felt scraps, fun foam shapes, wiggly eyes, pom poms and chenille stems were available for the details.

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An old pencil inserted into the styrofoam acts as a handle.

We stuck the pencils in a styrofoam block to dry the heads.

 

 

Pinch Pot Cupcakes

Second graders formed 2 pinch pots to create these cupcakes.  One pinch pot was pressed into a silicone cupcake mold to create the cake.  I mixed slip until creamy for the “frosting”  that was spread onto the other pinch pot.  Fruits and candies were scored and attached.  The fired cupcakes were painted with tempera paint, then protected with a coat of tempera varnish.

Henry Moore Sculpture

Third graders critiqued the work of Henry Moore, noting the organic positive and negative shapes. of his sculptures.  They used oil clay to work out their idea of a flowing organic shape that seems to grow.  An interesting negative shape was started with a milkshake straw.  White clay was used for the final sculpture.  A coat of black acrylic paint was allowed to dry, then metallic acrylic paint was sponged on.  Students turned their sculptures to determine the most interesting view.  The sculptures were glued on to a scrap of wood that had been painted black.

This project was inspired by the Alum Creek site on Artsonia.

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

Hi!  I received a Versatile Blogger Award from Vivid Layers.
Thanks for this award!  I get so many great ideas from your blog, and those on your blog list. (more…)