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Posts tagged ‘cut paper’

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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Papel Picado

Third graders created brilliant tissue paper banners as part of their study of Mexican art.  A rainbow of authentic Mexican papel picados was strung above the chalkboard.  We noted the variety of shapes that pierced each piece.  Students folded a large sheet of tissue 4 times, and then cut interesting shapes from the sides, bottom, and along the folds.

William the Hippo

First graders were introduced to the art of ancient Egypt.  They learned about pyramids and mummies.  They learned that William, the cute blue hippo found in a tomb, was actually feared by ancient Egyptians.  Hippos would hide in the Nile, then flip unsuspecting boats that came near.  They also came on shore and trampled precious crops.  William was found with his legs broken to prevent him from doing harm in the afterlife. Students drew a hippo by combining large, simple shapes for the body, head, and legs.  They drew on the back.  As they cut, they remembered to STOP when a line bumped into another line so no parts were cut off.  They drew the details with a Sharpie on the clean side. A cut paper border of Egyptian colors was inspired by Egyptian artwork.

Northern Lights

First graders painted wet on wet skies to suggest Northern Lights.  Cut paper snowbanks, buildings and trees were added, as well as a few foam snowflakes.  Snowy glitter provided the finishing touch.

I saw this lesson on numerous blogs and had to try it!