Saturday, November 16, 2013

3-D Paper Still-Life

Sometimes the best ideas come to us at the spur of the moment and cannot be planned. My favorite kindergarten project this year came from being flexible and accommodating to my students. It started with the inspiration of Frida Kahlo in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and finding shapes in her beautiful still-life paintings. The plan was to create a mixed media collage, cutting paper fruit shapes, arranging and gluing them and then adding paint over the still-life. I knew I would have to tweak the lesson for one of my new students who is blind. Since she was not able to see the artwork of Kahlo, I provided her with a basket of faux fruit to feel and to identify the fruit and the forms. I decided that it might be more enjoyable for her to make three dimensional fruits rather than flat paper shapes.

First, each student labeled a paper lunch bag with their name to store their fruits. We created an apple from red paper by crumbling a red paper into a ball or spherical form. The students decided they could do the same to orange paper for another type of fruit. Students had to decide how to make the crescent banana shape from yellow paper. Many students decided to twist and crumple their paper in a linear way. We talked about how grapes are typically served in a bunch. We created the bunch by tearing, scrunching and twisting paper to make the vine. Students decided that they would need to make smaller pieces of paper to make the grapes so that they were not the same size as the orange or the apple. Each fruit was stored in the labeled lunch bag until we had a container to put them in. I loved how the kids acted as if they were shopping when they were filling their bags with their fruit.

Another day we made a bowl to put the fruit in. We cut the corners from a rectangle of paper, then estimated where the middle of the paper was. Students cut a vertical line to the estimated center of the paper. We overlapped the paper where it was cut and glued to make a shallow cone shape. Next, we glued a strip of paper to make a ring (like the rings in an advent chain) that we glued to the bottom of the bowl for added support. I also tried to make woven paper cornucopias to store the fruit. This worked with a few classes, but with some of the larger classes it was hard to reach all students and help them succeed at paper weaving.

The final day was used to glue the fruit into the bowl and add details. We are going to use these for center pieces at our annual Turkey Luncheon.

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