One of my goals as an art teacher is to foster creativity in my students. It is extremely important to me that their projects are not cookie-cutter-carbon-copies, rather they are as individual as the individuals who made them. The last unit of art curriculum for the county denotes that crafting is involved. I type crafting with a grimace and a shudder because in my humble opinion crafting is a cheap way to do mass-produced art.
I was bored to tears by weaving with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders because really, how much creativity is involved in manipulating some yarn? Sure they can choose their colors but in the end all the projects basically look the same. Weaving with paper allows for a little more creative freedom. These woven alligators were inspired by several pins on Pinterest as well as from Art With Ms. Gram.
I wanted to make sure that they did not all look the same so I made tried to give students as many choices as possible. They chose which shade of green construction paper they would use for the body and the way they made painted paper. They came up with their own the symbols which were painted in metallic tempera. Students designed their own eyes and teeth, and the shapes for features such as arms, legs, and tails. I think these look wild and fun and ended up really reflecting the spirit of first (soon to be second!) graders.
We began by mixing primary colors to create secondary colors for painted paper.
Students used their painted paper to weave into a piece of green construction paper for the alligator’s body.
Some alligator bodies on the drying rack:
Then heads and tails were added with more green paper.
First graders cut eyes and teeth out of white paper:
Details and symbols were painted on with shiny metallic tempera:
The display is a farewell to first grade:
Some alligator close ups:
These have so much personality and the kids are super excited to show them off. I will leave you with this excellent joke: