Last semester I took a class at Georgia State University on Asian Art. I was so inspired to do some of the awesome projects with my kiddos!
The first day, I showed students examples of Koinobori wind sock fish. They are used in Japan during festivals to show members of the family. Student’s loved making the connection to weather, a unit they did for PBL.
We used templates to trace the fish shape on 12×18 paper. Students cut the shape out and unfolded it to create a symmetrical fish shape.
They created a pattern with lines and shapes and traced over it with sharpies.
The next day, 1st graders used red, yellow, and blue tempera cakes to mix colors and create a vibrant design.
The last day, students used stamps to print patterns on newsprint paper. They cut the patterns into strips and glued it to the tail.
As they stamped, I rotated around the room and punched holes so they could tie a string to hang their fish. Then they glued the edges and put it all together.
The best part about this project (aside from the science, math, and social studies connections) is when the kids swing their fish and they catch in the wind the tails move really beautifully. There is something truly special about kinetic artwork and 1st graders were not only engaged and excited but really motivated for this project! Here are some of the fellas swingin’ their Koinoboris around: