Lesson Plans by Discipline - 3 Dimensional


Spoon Skulls
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Grades K – 4

 

Grade Level

NEW! Confetti Bowls

If you've ever scooped confetti into the trash and wished it didn't have to be wasted, here's an idea for putting it to use — turn it into an intriguing, artistic bowl or plate.

3 – 8

NEW! Bowled Over by Picasso

Picasso viewed the ceramic vessels he painted on as a type of canvas that curved. Make a slump or hump molded bowl, then paint colorful imagery on it's interior using underglazes. Finish with clear glaze.

3 – 12

NEW! It's Complementary!

Combine some color theory with a fun, dimensional print that pops! Complementary colors are especially pleasing together. Use texture plates and other printing techniques on paper, then cut circles, fold up the edges, and make a checkerboard style three-dimensional print!

K – 8

NEW! Make a Fake Cake!

Using the paintings of Wayne Thiebaud as inspiration, students prepare visually delightful, deliciously decorated sculptural cupcakes using a new, voluminous finger paint that spreads like frosting, yet dries to a strong, durable finish.

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K – 8
Special Education

NEW! “Mama” Spider Sculptures

Created as an ode to her mother, one of the largest sculptures in the world is Louise Bourgeois’ “Maman.” — a bronze spider that stands 30 feet tall. These wire and tissue versions assume natural, and sometimes even creepy, poses!

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3 – 12

NEW! Curtain of Leaves Monoprint

Many artists have used trees as an inspiration for their work. Pressed leaves and texture tools are used to make one-of-a-kind, double-sided monoprints. Using a flexible printing block as a plate makes it easy!

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3 – 12

NEW! Shibori Kimono

Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

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3 – 12

NEW! Shoe Shrine

Make a sculptural shrine from an outgrown or second-hand shoe! Primed with modeling paste, covered with ornate embellishments, and then aligned vertically, an everyday shoe can become a dramatic backdrop for relics that represent a student’s favorite thing, place, idea, or event.

3 – 12

Creative Quill Pens

For over 1000 years, the quill was the principle writing tool in the Western world. Imagine the stories, poems and sketches that can be made with a hybrid quill and dip pen designed to be a work of art in itself!

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3 – 12

Simple Silk Screen in the Round

Silk screening is made simple with the use of an embroidery hoop frame and Mod Podge! Simply draw an image on silk screen fabric with a pencil and paint around the outside with Mod Podge. Pull fabric ink though with a squeegee and you're done! Add handpainted details to add even more color.

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2 – 12

Spoon Skulls

Sugar Skulls are a folk art tradition from central and southern Mexico, made as part of the Day of the Dead celebration. Students can create and decorate a long-lasting skull from glow-in-the-dark clay pressed into a common tablespoon used as a mold. Add colorful designs with tempera paint or markers and enjoy Dia de Muertos!

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1 – 8

Steampunk Entomology

Create a futuristic insect specimen using clay, discarded metal pieces, and wire. Make an air dry clay body, push wire legs, antennae and steampunk embellishments into the soft clay, add wings and let dry to harden! Embellish with paints, if desired.

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K – 12

Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppetry

Tell a story through a traditional Indonesian shadow puppet play! Make a puppet that looks like leather by dampening and crinkling black cardstock, then create interesting patterns with paper punches. Finish with metallic markers and glue to dowels!

K – 12

Wire Art Quilt

A decorative, sculptural interpretation of the Friendship Quilt. Wire is an amazing art medium — it can be bent to form a variety of lines, shapes, letters, and images, outlining patterns in the way that individual pieces of fabric make up each square in a traditional quilt. Elementary-age students can work easily with chenille stems and colorful plastic-coated wire while older students will create art with soft steel, aluminum, and copper wire

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3 – 12

Anaglyph Artistry

Make a composition for viewing with 3-D glasses! Turn an original drawing into a three-dimensional anaglyph using red and blue transfer paper with red and blue markers. Then, make the 3-D glasses necessary to make it pop!

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2 – 12

Block-Print Koinobori

In Japan, Children's Day on May 5th is heralded by the appearance of flying fish: carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. In this lesson, students design a “scale”-shaped block from soft block printing material and apply it repetitively to outdoor-safe fabric that has been cut in the shape of a fish. Add details like eyes, fins, and a tail using metallic and sparkle paint, and the Koinobori is ready to hang and “swim” through the breeze!

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3 – 12

Butterfield Horse

Construct a high-relief horse using Activa Fast Mache and found objects. Combine a painted and collaged background with a horse made of quick mache, sticks, pine needles, leaves, and shredded papers in the style of Debra Butterfield.

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3 – 12

Concentric Kirigami

A variation on Japanese Origami, Kirigami is created by folding paper and cutting portions away. This surprisingly uncomplicated relief sculpture is assembled with “rings” cut from double-sided sheets of colorful cardstock. The edges of the rings are folded, cut, unfolded, and layered concentrically (placed around the same center point) to make modern-day Kirigami designs.

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3 – 12

Convertible “Canned” Sculpture

Composition — the way the elements of a piece of art are arranged and relate to each other — can be difficult to grasp. This lesson plan presents an easy, forgiving way to see the effects of composition while using the dimensional works of Frank Stella as an example. The sculpture is assembled with magnets on a metal can so it can be taken apart and rearranged to see how the composition is affected — what works and what doesn’t.

3 – 12

Flower Garden Tiles

Easily make flower tiles by carving clay, filling with plaster, and finishing with liquid watercolors.

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K – 12

The Walls are Watching You!

Form a whimsical and functional "pocket" to animate a wall. This project combines the wall pocket with a face jug, creating a fun and whimsical (or scary) face pocket out of clay.

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2 – 12

Upcycled "Wild Thing" Mittens

An outgrown sweater becomes a fun pair of costume mittens! Use a recycled wool sweater, shrink film, and other adornments to create a fun and functional "Wild Thing" mitten.

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K – 12

Books that POP!

Paper engineering meets the principles of design! This procces breaks pop-up designs into three very basic techniques - spirals, zig-zags, and boxes - and focuses on design elements: color, form, shape, and space. A simple hinging technique using the ever-popular, colorfully patterned DuckTape allows the book to open and lie flat for the most eye-popping and paper-popping look!

3 – 12

All Aglow Chinese Lantern

An origami "Chinese Lantern" that glows in the dark! Using Dura-Lar film, markers, and glow-in-the dark paint, create a hanging lantern, and learn a basic origami shape.

3 – 12

Coral Reef Creation

Brilliantly replicate thousands of years of oceanic evolution in just a few hours. Using clay, paint, and pearlescent mixing medium, along with handmade clay stamps, create a beautiful coral sculpture.

K – 12

Dancing Houses

Part cartoonist and part Picasso, the art of Brooklyn-born James Rizzi is highly recognizable. His playful, brilliant images created a style he described as “Urban Primitive.” Students will enjoy making a classroom cityscape of fun and fabulous construction paper buildings. A simple wire armature beneath allows the structure to be playfully positioned -— almost as if it were dancing. This project provides a lesson in movement as design principle.

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K – 9

Monet's Water Lilies

In the last 30 years of his life, French Impressionist Claude Monet produced a series of paintings depicting the flowers and pond in his garden at Giverny. He especially loved painting his water lilies and the reflections of the sky and trees floating in the water around them. In honor of Monet, here's an easy, elegant and inexpensive way to make a tissue paper lily that has the misty, atmospheric qualities an Impressionist would have loved.

K – 8

My Daruma

A traditional Japanese weighted toy, Daruma always return to an upright position. This project reveals how to weight the bottom of a plastic egg and cover with instant maché to make these symbols of success, determination, and overcoming adversity.

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3 – 12

Sound Sculpture Inspired by Jean Tinguely

Swiss artist Jean Tinguely created whimsical machine-like contraptions of found metal parts, known as “metamechanics”. In this lesson plan, students create a kinetic sculpture with repurposed metal hardware, found objects, and wire placed so that they deliberately move against one another. Much like Tinguely’s machines, some of the noises may be pleasant — others may not— but each will have a very unique metallic, mechanical “voice.”

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3 – 12

New Guinean “Plant Paste” Doll

Make a hand-built ritual doll with only three simple materials! Knead together clay, instant papier mâché and burlap fibers to create an intriguing art doll. Add body paint and embellish by adding seed bead teeth, a shell necklace, or clothing made of burlap.

4 – 12

Recycled Jellies

Learn the anatomy of one of nature’s most fascinating creatures and make a model from some of the very materials that threaten their habitat — plastic bags and fast food containers. These colorful, sparkling jellies are even water-resistant!

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K – 5

Textural Glass Slumping

Create a textured clay mold to use again and again! Carve a design into a slab and bisque fire it. After coating it with kiln wash, this mold can be used many times to impart unique textures to slumped glass pieces.

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3 – 12

Mehndi Art Gloves

Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

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K – 12
Special Education

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

Eye-Popping Paper Curls

Quilling is also known as paper filligree, paper rolling, mosaic or paper folding (even though the paper is really curled). In this project, students will try their hand at quilling in a truly sculptural way. By using much larger, thicker strips of paper, the finished product "pops" out in a very optical way. By using black on white, the effect is even further emphasized.

3 – 12

Have a Ball! with distorted self-portraits

Observing and reproducing the distortion caused by a concave reflection is the topic of this lesson plan, as students make self-portraits inspired by M.C. Escher's “Hand with Reflecting Globe.” The canvas is a vinyl bouncing ball. Elementary ages can be challenged to create a continuous painting — with no beginning or end — then “Have a Ball!” playing with their own artwork.

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K – 12
Special Education

Miniature Treasure Keeper

Joseph Cornell's (1903-1972) most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These were simple boxes in which he arranged surprising collections of photgraphs or bric-a-brac in a way that combines the formality of Constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Students will gather pieces of nostalgia or found objects to embed in plaster within an arrangement of mini canvas "boxes".

K – 12

Rolly Bowls

Glazing isn't the only way to create beautiful surfaces! Agateware pottery features swirling marbelized colors and was probably first developed to imitate the qualities of agate, a semiprecious stone with striated patterning. These swirling effects can be created by working with thin slabs of colored clay that has been layered to create patterns. This technique allows for both precise patterns and free, random effects.

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3 – 12

Sole Pendants

In this project, students explore the beauty of texture found in a surprising place... on the soles of their shoes! Texture is all around us, and oftentimes exists right under our noses.

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K – 3

Venetian Volto Mask

The Italian word “volto” translates as “face”. These full-face masks were known as “citizen’s masks” because they were originally worn by common people during the Carnival of Venice. By draping acrylic felt over a reusable form and using Rice Paste (a gluten-free maché alternative) to stiffen, students create a sculptural mask that can be decorated with paint, glitter, feathers, rhinestones, etc.

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3 – 12

Acrylic “Skins”

This project utilizes acrylic paint, but in a totally unique way...dried! Acrylic paint "skins" are easily created just by brushing paint on a non-stick palette or baker's parchment and letting it dry. You can use this plastic, flexible paint in a number of ways to create mosaics, mixed media collage, stained glass-like effects, jewelry, book covers and more!

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K – 12

Mr. Blacks’s Dog House

This beginning project introduces early elementary students to basic clay construction skills. Employing both fine and gross motor skills, students assign a unique personality to their pet, then bisque fire and add the definition of spots and color with glazes.

K – 3

Picasso-Inspired Soft Sculpture

By looking through the vast array of figurative paintings done by Picasso during his cubist phase, students may find many possibilities for soft sculpture adaptations. Fine art, sculpture and textiles combine to make this eye-catching piece!

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K – 12

Fauvism is for the Birds!

Les Fauves (translation: “The Wild Beasts”) were a group of artists whose work was characterized by seemingly wild brush work and strident colors. The colors the Fauves used are also favored by wild birds. Hummingbirds like red, orange and pink. Songbirds prefer colors that mimic trees and bushes. To see which species of birds are attracted to these “beastly” colors, students create a painted, hanging birdfeeder from a stretched canvas or “upcycled” wooden frame.

K – 12
Special Education

Percussive Pods

Rattles are the only musical instrument found throughout the world. While their physical forms vary, their uses are very consistent. Many cultures give infants rattles as a toy. In rituals and ceremonies, rattles are used prominently and often believed to possess supernatural powers. Students explore texture and clay construction as they form a rattle inspired by natural shapes: seed pods, shells, gourds, rain-sticks, etc.

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K – 12
Special Education

Upcycled Leather and “Turquoise” Cuffs

Worn as protection in battle, support for heavy labor and to identify status, leather cuffs have shielded wrists throughout mankind’s history. To the Pueblo and Navajo, turquoise is considered sacred and powerful, the perfect adornment. This project invites students to design a cuff from an old leather belt. Embellish with “turquoise” beads fashioned from polymer clay or with stamping, lacing and marker designs.

3 – 12

Navajo-Inspired Bottles - 2 Projects by Mayco® Colors

Navajo pottery tended towards functional ware and minimalist design and decoration. Pinch, slab and coil construction methods were used to make bowls and bottles, for carrying water and food consumption. In these projects students will use their knowledge of Navajo symbols to create Navajo inspired designs on a clay bottles.

4 – 8

Polynesian “Medicine” Sticks

Polynesia is a large area in the central and southern Pacific Ocean containing more than 1,000 scattered islands. Many of these islands share cultural similarities among the various groups of people who live on them, especially in terms of their mythologies. Stories often include gods or deities that rule nature. In addition to the oral tradition, "god sticks" are made to represent these deities, usually in the form of a human face or figure wrapped in bark cloth or cord.

3 – 8

Cubist Portrait Bust

The first thing children learn when learning to draw a face or a figure is to view each part as a basic shape. This project approaches sculpture in the same way. Using geometric Styrofoam shapes, students build a bust or torso. The finished result resembles a simplified version of something you might have seen from Picasso or one of the other Cubist painters, only in three dimensions. This project is a good introduction to sculpture for young students.

K – 6

Pyramid Book

Unlock the secrets of an ancient Egyptian pyramid with this easy-to-construct box that opens to reveal “treasure” inside. When closed, the outside walls are held in place with a clay disk. Remove the disk and open the pyramid to reveal what's inside. Younger students can make artifacts from clay to place inside. Older students may be challenged to learn the inner parts of the pyramids and add paper pages to write about and illustrate their discoveries.

3 – 8

Stilt Houses

A stilt house is constructed on posts above water, allowing people to live in areas that have very little dry land. Found in many coastal and wetland regions of the world, stilt houses can be ultra modern or very basic. In this lesson, students build a stilt house while being mindful of the area where the house might exist and the lifestyle of its inhabitants.

3 – 7

Tubular Bowls

A few simple geometry skills and a little time spent making paper rolls is all that goes into this eye-catching art paper bowl. It's a great way to recycle materials or use up scrap paper, and your students will learn about repeating patterns and design rhythm as they place each tube of paper on a piece of self-adhesive film.

3 – 12

Festival Flowers

The easiest way to make colorful, three-dimensional paper flowers! Even young children will enjoy painting carnation-like blooms and creating full bouquets for Mother’s Day gifts, May Day celebrations, a Cinco de Mayo fiesta or a Hawaiian Luau. Each flower costs just pennies to make. Because the watercolors blend together and form new hues, painting each bloom is a good way to illustrate color mixing.

K – 8

Deconstructed Books

There's more to "deconstructing" a book than just altering the pages. In this project, deconstructing means changing the object from a book to a sculpture. The tools are very basic — scissors, glue, paper punches and a desire to experiment!

3 – 12
Special Education

Painted “Silk” Shapes

The production and commerce of decorated silk fabrics began thousands of years ago in China. This project introduces fine-mesh polyester as a silk-like fabric for painting. Form a wire shape as a support and paint with transparent liquid acrylic color. Finished pieces are flexible and may be heat-set for outdoor display.

3 – 12

Wee Puppets

Exercising the imagination helps children develop problem-solving skills. This lesson incorporates students’ artistic skills to sculpt finger puppets out of clay and to use their imaginations to make up a story for their characters. The stories do not have to be written but can be told freely. Create a theatre in the classroom — a table with a cloth over it makes a great stage for Wee Puppets. This project is a wonderful interactive classroom event.

K – 6

Art 2 Infinity: Two projects incorporating Mirror Board

Artists through the ages have used reflective surfaces to define and alter perspective, create symmetry and "bend" reality. Mirrors have been a tool for creating art, the subject matter and the art itself. Here are two project ideas for using metallic film to capture light and create intriguing illusions: “Kaleidoscope Paintings” and “Infinity Boxes”.

K – 12

Recycled Book Boxes

Rather than traditional pages, the interior of these “books” will hold objects collected by students. An “art box” book could contain samples of texture, color, form, and line or other examples of design elements or styles. Or a more personalized box “about me” could hold a collection of tiny photos, poems and small keepsakes.

3 – 12

Button Bracelets

Button Bracelets allow children to design a wearable piece of art with lots of color and texture — a new twist on craft bracelets! A leather wristband is used as a base and takes on a very different look when buttons and colorful wire are added.

3 – 6

Native American Story Necklaces

One of the many rich crafts produced within the Native American culture is a "fetish," or story necklace, designed to illustrate history and legend with carved creatures representing spirits, animals or ancestors.

K – 6

Tissue Vases from Recycled Containers

Turn recycled bottles or cups into "frosted glass" vases! This project allows students to work in three-dimensional designs as they build high-relief mini-murals "in the round." Younger students may create simplified and abstract work with white tissue paper and watercolors. Older students may achieve very sophisticated and detailed vases. Materials are quite inexpensive!

K – 8

Storybook Theater

From the outside, this Storybook Theater looks like a simply constructed book, but open it and a puppet stage unfolds! Children make their favorite stories come to life with puppets, props and scenery. There's even built-in pockets for holding craft stick puppets.

K – 6

Forest Dwellings: Toad House

Students will hand-build dwellings for forest animals and birds, beginning with flat clay slabs and using slump molds (and even a soda can!) to shape the slabs into three dimensional forms. They will use sprig and press molds to texture and embellish their structures to simulate trees, leaves, knot holes and burrows reminiscent of natural habitats found in woodlands.

4 – 8

Architectural Letters

In this lesson plan, students design and construct a 3-dimensional letter using one of their initials. The surface can be decorated with descriptive words and images that are personally meaningful and unique to the student's identity. Instead of wet, messy adhesive, this process uses paper packing tape to create papier mâché. This tape is inexpensive, easy, and tidy to use, and the finished letters are hard and durable.

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3 – 12

Paper Clay Leaves

Learn leaf anatomy by recreating the patterns and structure of the original. Because the clay is paper-based, it accepts watercolors, which may be reworked and blended on the surface. Watercolors enhance the veining in the leaves, pulling out their natural characteristics.

K – 12

Rhythm in Layers

Low relief sculpture with design in mind. Layer by layer, piece by piece, this three-dimensional collage is assembled with repetitious shapes and elements, illustrating the principles of rhythm, balance and movement.

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3 – 12
Special Education

Textured Metal Boxes

This lesson plan combines the processes of repoussé and chasing to design a piece that looks as if it may have been crafted by an ancient silversmith. Objects are fixed to a cardboard box before the metal is applied so that the design is embossed into the metal in the style of repoussé. With tools, students then chase the metal around the objects to further define the texture.

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K – 12

Filipino Parol

In the Philippines, during the Festival of Lights, parol (puh-roll), or star-shaped lanterns, symbolize the victory of light over darkness as well as hope and goodwill. These simple parol are created with natural reed, translucent rice paper and liquid watercolor. Displayed in a window or hanging from a light fixture, they make colorful, festive decorations for any season.

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3 – 8

Mexican Bowl

This lesson plan is inspired by the brightly colored pottery of Mexico. This simple papier mâché version casts paper pulp into a textured bowl using an existing plastic or ceramic bowl as a mold.

K – 4

Art Press Tools

Make your own tools for stamping image impressions, creating raised designs and adding textures to a variety of artworks. They can be pressed into clay prior to firing, polymer clay before baking and air-dry clay while still moist. Tools can also be used for creating patterns in metal foil or making texture rubbings on paper.

K – 12
Special Education

High Low Relief Sculpture

This High-Low Relief Sculpture is a variation on the popular three-dimensional pin sculpture toy that can be molded into familiar shapes as pressure is applied from underneath. These sculptures will be stationary with a few other variations, as students use their imaginations to create rolling landscapes, faces, flowers or other images out of different lengths of colorfully painted craft picks.

4 – 6

Ostrich Eggshell Mosaic

In Namibia, ostrich eggshells are broken and used in many contemporary art forms. The shapes are often sanded or painted This lesson plan uses small pieces of wood and cardstock to closely resemble the thick shell pieces.

K – 12

Textile Painting with Mayco Colors

"Students use unconventional “tools” such as lace and yarn to create new textures and designs."

2 – 8

Artist’s Canvas Shoes

Students will research the painting style of a famous artist of their choice, then design a pair of painted shoes reminiscent of that artist’s design sense and choices of subjects and colors.

K – 6

Egyptian-Inspired Jewelry

The purpose of this lesson plan is not to make replicas of Egyptian jewelry but to design jewelry that is dramatic using Egyptian jewelry as a reference.

K – 12

Wish Boxes

Great for special occasions and gifts, these thought-filled boxes are created by bringing together two art forms: Calligraphy, which means “beautiful writing” and Origami, which translates as “folded paper”.

3 – 8

Zany Wire Sculpture

Students create a freestanding 3-dimensional sculpture using wire and modeled "clay" pieces. An exciting introductory lesson in balance, spatial relationships, color, shape and form.

K – 6

Casting Coins (Elementary)

As young students learn the value and structure of our monetary system, they can make their own coins for trade or to save. This lesson plan allows students to design and “mint” coins bearing their own symbols.

K – 4

Mexican “Tona” Animal Masks

According to a pre-Columbian legend, each person shares a common destiny with an animal that matches their personality and their life experiences called a “Tona”. Students identify with an animal and create a mask that will retain some human features as well. This project linka with personal identification and Mexican Folk Art cultural studies.

K – 4

Stained Glass Flowers

Wonderful, colorful flowers are created with a transparent, flexible paint called “Arti’Stick”. To link with botanical studies, have students study the anatomy of a flower, create and identify its parts.

3 – 8

Talking Rocks

Native Americans in the Southwest left messages on stones that still speak to us today. Some of these pictures were actually carvings called "petroglyphs".This lesson uses air-dry clay to make symbolic drawings on “stone.”

2 – 5

Three Prisms

Math and science create visual forms and establish structure.“Three Prisms” uses equilateral triangles and parallelograms. The shapes are combined and repeated for a sculpture that makes additional equilateral triangles.

K – 8

Yarn Bottles

The Huichol tribe use yarn to decorate gourds, clothing and other items, appliing it in adjacent rows of varying colors and patterns. Bottles are a 3-D surface that offers endless design possibilities.

K – 6

Rain Sticks

Students construct a 3-dimensional form and fill it with rice to make gentle, percussive sounds.

K – 8

Pop Charts

This page offers a few suggestions for creative art projects that support mathematical instruction on chart and graph reading.

3 – 8

Melted Crayon Clay Ornaments

This easy, kid-friendly project creates ornaments that sparkle and shine using Crayola Crayons and Sculpey III oven-bake polymer clay.

K – 6

Mini Wall Pockets

Early experiment with construction of slab clay techniques. An excellent introduction to the use of materials in a responsible manner.

K – 4

Foam Punch

Punched tin and metal is an old, traditional craft that involves creating holes in metal with sharp tools to form a design. Original designs were abstract patterns. This safe and colorful version is also abstract.

K – 6

Good Fortune Boxes

This lesson plan celebrates the Chinese tradition of passing along good fortune or "Fu" to others.

K – 8

Family Tree

Children have many family members and pets and friends who are "honorary" family. Have students discuss their family and describe how they look.

K – 4

Faux Fossil Fun

Experience an archeological dig, right in your own classroom! Students create fossils the way that nature does - by making impressions and filling them

K – 12

Decorative Paper Fans

Listed are colorful samples of simple fans. Discuss the importance of fans and how they were used to keep people comfortable for years.

K – 6

Donkey Beads and Bells

Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

K – 12

Beyond Beads

Beads can be made from a variety of materials, including Wonderfoam, chenille stems and Woodsies

K – 5

Coil-Built Pueblo Bowl

Students explore Native American pottery traditions and discover the purpose behind the animal imagery and geometric patterns used to decorate various pottery forms. Students with kiln access will learn how to use underglazes and glazes to transform their bowls into functional ware

3 – 8

Float People

"Marc Chagall, is known for his paintings of floating, dream-like people, animals and objects. Students design “Float People” to display their understanding of colorful imaginary images."

K – 6

Hand Signals

"Create a fully posable hand to help students learn to communicate in sign language."

3 – 5

Martin Puryear-Inspired Basketry

Students learn the importance of negative space while creating a non-traditional basket by focusing on it as a sculptural element rather than a functional object. Being a non-representational form, these abstract baskets draw attention to volume and space and redefine what a basket is intended for.

3 – 12

Painted Locket

Over the centuries and across many cultures, lockets have been worn as tiny, portable treasure chests. Students paint the front of a mini canvas and use the back to display a small photo or something with meaning and value.

K – 12
Special Education

Paper Dishes

These papier mâché dishes are an example of utilitarian items that can also be used as décor.

3 – 8

Primitive Semi-Flat Dolls

There is a rich history in dollmaking techniques throughout the centuries. These soft dolls are painted, stuffed and glued together — so the construction is easy and safe.

4 – 6

Sunshine on a Stick

This project teaches free-form weaving in the round. The sticks are extremely bright and pretty when finished and look great in a vase or potted plant.

2 – 6

Wind Catchers

This step-by-step project from Mayco Colors demonstrates how to make insect-themed Wind Catchers from bisqueware pieces.

3 – 8

Animal Masks

From Mayco Colors, this lesson gives students the opportunity to explore the history and function of masks in various cultures and times. Students will be able to learn and master basic hand building and sculpting techniques using either self-hardening clay or clay requiring kiln firing.

K – 6

Art-Zee Dice Game

Decorate small wooden blocks with symbols, letters, numbers, patterns or images to create dice and a colorful "shaker" jar. Scorecard included in lesson plan.

K – 6

Arti'Stick Mobile

Students will study works of stained glass as a one dimensional art form and adapt what they learn to a three dimensional sculpture — a brilliantly-colored transparent mobile.

2 – 6

Artist's Canvas Painted Shoes

Using Tee Juice® Fabric Markers, students design a pair of painted shoes reminiscent of a famous artist's style and choices of subjects and colors.

K – 6

Bones

A full skeleton illustrates movement during a wide range of activities. The addition of a background turns this project into a more complete artwork.

3 – 6

Book of Secrets

This book-making and collage project uses small matchboxes as drawers to tuck away secrets, supporting a variety of literary and historical studies, such as “The Hiding Place” (Anne Frank) or the Underground Railroad.

3 – 12

Castles

Students will learn how each of the architectural elements of a castle was designed for the purpose of protection and design their own fortress by making a “pop-out” from construction paper.

3 – 8

Classroom Chihuly

Give students an opportunity to enjoy creating random organic forms with color and transparency similar to actual glass.

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2 – 12

Egyptian Relief Sculpture by Amaco

Students should research hieroglyphs and find a hieroglyphic symbol that has meaning to them. They might choose their initial as a their symbol, or create a figure in the style of an Egyptian Queen or Pharaoh.

4 – 6

Tissue Topiary

Topiary is the art of turning living plants into sculptures that are constantly growing and changing — a form of landscape art. In this project, an art topiary is made of a wire base, green tissue paper and twine. Although this Tissue Topiary will require some initial sculpting, no care will be needed after construction!

4 – 12

click to collapse

Grades 5 – 8

 

Grade Level

NEW! Confetti Bowls

If you've ever scooped confetti into the trash and wished it didn't have to be wasted, here's an idea for putting it to use — turn it into an intriguing, artistic bowl or plate.

3 – 8

NEW! Figures in Motion

Inspired by the painting and sculpture of Edgar Degas, this lesson allows students to explore proportion and describe movement using a flat, paper doll-type figure that can be manipulated when wet and is rigid when dry.

5 – 12

NEW! Bowled Over by Picasso

Picasso viewed the ceramic vessels he painted on as a type of canvas that curved. Make a slump or hump molded bowl, then paint colorful imagery on it's interior using underglazes. Finish with clear glaze.

3 – 12

NEW! It's Complementary!

Combine some color theory with a fun, dimensional print that pops! Complementary colors are especially pleasing together. Use texture plates and other printing techniques on paper, then cut circles, fold up the edges, and make a checkerboard style three-dimensional print!

K – 8

NEW! Circle Wall Sculpture

The circle has played a role in the art of every culture, often symbolizing unity and completeness. This simple reed-and-paper design demonstrates how balance, emphasis, patterns, rhythm, movement, and unity produce integrality in a piece of visual art.

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5 – 12

NEW! “Glass” Panel Book

A twist on the tunnel book, this in-depth poetry presentation stars repurposed transparent CD cases. Students learn how artists create visual depth in art while designing a book that illustrates an eight-line poem they have selected or written.

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8 – 12

NEW! Make a Fake Cake!

Using the paintings of Wayne Thiebaud as inspiration, students prepare visually delightful, deliciously decorated sculptural cupcakes using a new, voluminous finger paint that spreads like frosting, yet dries to a strong, durable finish.

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K – 8
Special Education

NEW! “Mama” Spider Sculptures

Created as an ode to her mother, one of the largest sculptures in the world is Louise Bourgeois’ “Maman.” — a bronze spider that stands 30 feet tall. These wire and tissue versions assume natural, and sometimes even creepy, poses!

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3 – 12

NEW! Curtain of Leaves Monoprint

Many artists have used trees as an inspiration for their work. Pressed leaves and texture tools are used to make one-of-a-kind, double-sided monoprints. Using a flexible printing block as a plate makes it easy!

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3 – 12

NEW! Shibori Kimono

Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

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3 – 12

NEW! Shoe Shrine

Make a sculptural shrine from an outgrown or second-hand shoe! Primed with modeling paste, covered with ornate embellishments, and then aligned vertically, an everyday shoe can become a dramatic backdrop for relics that represent a student’s favorite thing, place, idea, or event.

3 – 12

NEW! Upcycled Saucer Basket

A variety of new “fibers” are being employed today by many basket makers. Use traditional basket-weaving methods combined with fibers of the new age such as newspapers, plastics, wire, or grocery bags!

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5 – 12

Creative Quill Pens

For over 1000 years, the quill was the principle writing tool in the Western world. Imagine the stories, poems and sketches that can be made with a hybrid quill and dip pen designed to be a work of art in itself!

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3 – 12

Byzantine Bell

Create a copper bell from metal foil and give it a salt-and-vinegar patina! Cut, fold and emboss metal sheet and add a beaded clapper. Watch a patina develop over night and display in or out!

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5 – 12

Simple Silk Screen in the Round

Silk screening is made simple with the use of an embroidery hoop frame and Mod Podge! Simply draw an image on silk screen fabric with a pencil and paint around the outside with Mod Podge. Pull fabric ink though with a squeegee and you're done! Add handpainted details to add even more color.

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2 – 12

Spoon Skulls

Sugar Skulls are a folk art tradition from central and southern Mexico, made as part of the Day of the Dead celebration. Students can create and decorate a long-lasting skull from glow-in-the-dark clay pressed into a common tablespoon used as a mold. Add colorful designs with tempera paint or markers and enjoy Dia de Muertos!

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1 – 8

Steampunk Entomology

Create a futuristic insect specimen using clay, discarded metal pieces, and wire. Make an air dry clay body, push wire legs, antennae and steampunk embellishments into the soft clay, add wings and let dry to harden! Embellish with paints, if desired.

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K – 12

Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppetry

Tell a story through a traditional Indonesian shadow puppet play! Make a puppet that looks like leather by dampening and crinkling black cardstock, then create interesting patterns with paper punches. Finish with metallic markers and glue to dowels!

K – 12

Wire Art Quilt

A decorative, sculptural interpretation of the Friendship Quilt. Wire is an amazing art medium — it can be bent to form a variety of lines, shapes, letters, and images, outlining patterns in the way that individual pieces of fabric make up each square in a traditional quilt. Elementary-age students can work easily with chenille stems and colorful plastic-coated wire while older students will create art with soft steel, aluminum, and copper wire

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3 – 12

Anaglyph Artistry

Make a composition for viewing with 3-D glasses! Turn an original drawing into a three-dimensional anaglyph using red and blue transfer paper with red and blue markers. Then, make the 3-D glasses necessary to make it pop!

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2 – 12

Block-Print Koinobori

In Japan, Children's Day on May 5th is heralded by the appearance of flying fish: carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. In this lesson, students design a “scale”-shaped block from soft block printing material and apply it repetitively to outdoor-safe fabric that has been cut in the shape of a fish. Add details like eyes, fins, and a tail using metallic and sparkle paint, and the Koinobori is ready to hang and “swim” through the breeze!

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3 – 12

Butterfield Horse

Construct a high-relief horse using Activa Fast Mache and found objects. Combine a painted and collaged background with a horse made of quick mache, sticks, pine needles, leaves, and shredded papers in the style of Debra Butterfield.

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3 – 12

Concentric Kirigami

A variation on Japanese Origami, Kirigami is created by folding paper and cutting portions away. This surprisingly uncomplicated relief sculpture is assembled with “rings” cut from double-sided sheets of colorful cardstock. The edges of the rings are folded, cut, unfolded, and layered concentrically (placed around the same center point) to make modern-day Kirigami designs.

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3 – 12

Convertible “Canned” Sculpture

Composition — the way the elements of a piece of art are arranged and relate to each other — can be difficult to grasp. This lesson plan presents an easy, forgiving way to see the effects of composition while using the dimensional works of Frank Stella as an example. The sculpture is assembled with magnets on a metal can so it can be taken apart and rearranged to see how the composition is affected — what works and what doesn’t.

3 – 12

Flower Garden Tiles

Easily make flower tiles by carving clay, filling with plaster, and finishing with liquid watercolors.

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K – 12

Make-a-Mock-Moc!

Create a traditional Chippewa or Pucker-top moccasin using canvas, suede or leather remnants, seed beads and paint.

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5 – 12

The Walls are Watching You!

Form a whimsical and functional "pocket" to animate a wall. This project combines the wall pocket with a face jug, creating a fun and whimsical (or scary) face pocket out of clay.

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2 – 12

Upcycled "Wild Thing" Mittens

An outgrown sweater becomes a fun pair of costume mittens! Use a recycled wool sweater, shrink film, and other adornments to create a fun and functional "Wild Thing" mitten.

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K – 12

Books that POP!

Paper engineering meets the principles of design! This procces breaks pop-up designs into three very basic techniques - spirals, zig-zags, and boxes - and focuses on design elements: color, form, shape, and space. A simple hinging technique using the ever-popular, colorfully patterned DuckTape allows the book to open and lie flat for the most eye-popping and paper-popping look!

3 – 12

All Aglow Chinese Lantern

An origami "Chinese Lantern" that glows in the dark! Using Dura-Lar film, markers, and glow-in-the dark paint, create a hanging lantern, and learn a basic origami shape.

3 – 12

Coral Reef Creation

Brilliantly replicate thousands of years of oceanic evolution in just a few hours. Using clay, paint, and pearlescent mixing medium, along with handmade clay stamps, create a beautiful coral sculpture.

K – 12

Dancing Houses

Part cartoonist and part Picasso, the art of Brooklyn-born James Rizzi is highly recognizable. His playful, brilliant images created a style he described as “Urban Primitive.” Students will enjoy making a classroom cityscape of fun and fabulous construction paper buildings. A simple wire armature beneath allows the structure to be playfully positioned -— almost as if it were dancing. This project provides a lesson in movement as design principle.

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K – 9

Monet's Water Lilies

In the last 30 years of his life, French Impressionist Claude Monet produced a series of paintings depicting the flowers and pond in his garden at Giverny. He especially loved painting his water lilies and the reflections of the sky and trees floating in the water around them. In honor of Monet, here's an easy, elegant and inexpensive way to make a tissue paper lily that has the misty, atmospheric qualities an Impressionist would have loved.

K – 8

My Daruma

A traditional Japanese weighted toy, Daruma always return to an upright position. This project reveals how to weight the bottom of a plastic egg and cover with instant maché to make these symbols of success, determination, and overcoming adversity.

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3 – 12

Sound Sculpture Inspired by Jean Tinguely

Swiss artist Jean Tinguely created whimsical machine-like contraptions of found metal parts, known as “metamechanics”. In this lesson plan, students create a kinetic sculpture with repurposed metal hardware, found objects, and wire placed so that they deliberately move against one another. Much like Tinguely’s machines, some of the noises may be pleasant — others may not— but each will have a very unique metallic, mechanical “voice.”

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3 – 12

Ancient Bas-Relief Casting

Create an ancient "carving" using cast paper and blasa foam!

5 – 12

Accordion Poetry

Transform a single line of text into a dimensional work of art!

5 – 12

Art-O-Motion 2

Sculptor George Rickey used scientific precision and physics, functioning with wind to construct heavy steel sculptures that seemed to defy gravity and float on air. In this lesson, students create a simple sculpture around a rotary hub with stacked wooden beads and soft wire. When a direct air current is applied to metallic paper “sails” (blow on it!), the sculpture blades turn gently.

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5 – 12

ArtStraw Architecture

Skyscrapers evolved from the inside out — as steel frames became stronger, windows and walls became lighter, like a “skin.” Students can construct high-rise buildings (or low-rise designs) that are extremely light and open — they're made with paper straws and corrugated plastic joints (no glue required). Imagination grows with the construction — higher and higher!

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5 – 12

Many Metals “Day of the Dead” Triptych

Celebrate a happy and colorful Mexican tradition with many metals! Using the skull as a symbol of rebirth, create a triptych with embossed metal, papier mâché, and lots of color and sparkle!

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5 – 12

New Guinean “Plant Paste” Doll

Make a hand-built ritual doll with only three simple materials! Knead together clay, instant papier mâché and burlap fibers to create an intriguing art doll. Add body paint and embellish by adding seed bead teeth, a shell necklace, or clothing made of burlap.

4 – 12

Recycled Jellies

Learn the anatomy of one of nature’s most fascinating creatures and make a model from some of the very materials that threaten their habitat — plastic bags and fast food containers. These colorful, sparkling jellies are even water-resistant!

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K – 5

Textural Glass Slumping

Create a textured clay mold to use again and again! Carve a design into a slab and bisque fire it. After coating it with kiln wash, this mold can be used many times to impart unique textures to slumped glass pieces.

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3 – 12

Mehndi Art Gloves

Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

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K – 12
Special Education

African Clay Boxes

By making an animal shaped box out of clay, students honor both the vast diversity of Africa’s animal world, and also create a functional work of art! After choosing a favorite African animal, students will hand build a clay box with lid.

5 – 12

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

Eye-Popping Paper Curls

Quilling is also known as paper filligree, paper rolling, mosaic or paper folding (even though the paper is really curled). In this project, students will try their hand at quilling in a truly sculptural way. By using much larger, thicker strips of paper, the finished product "pops" out in a very optical way. By using black on white, the effect is even further emphasized.

3 – 12

Have a Ball! with distorted self-portraits

Observing and reproducing the distortion caused by a concave reflection is the topic of this lesson plan, as students make self-portraits inspired by M.C. Escher's “Hand with Reflecting Globe.” The canvas is a vinyl bouncing ball. Elementary ages can be challenged to create a continuous painting — with no beginning or end — then “Have a Ball!” playing with their own artwork.

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K – 12
Special Education

Miniature Treasure Keeper

Joseph Cornell's (1903-1972) most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These were simple boxes in which he arranged surprising collections of photgraphs or bric-a-brac in a way that combines the formality of Constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Students will gather pieces of nostalgia or found objects to embed in plaster within an arrangement of mini canvas "boxes".

K – 12

Rolly Bowls

Glazing isn't the only way to create beautiful surfaces! Agateware pottery features swirling marbelized colors and was probably first developed to imitate the qualities of agate, a semiprecious stone with striated patterning. These swirling effects can be created by working with thin slabs of colored clay that has been layered to create patterns. This technique allows for both precise patterns and free, random effects.

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3 – 12

Venetian Volto Mask

The Italian word “volto” translates as “face”. These full-face masks were known as “citizen’s masks” because they were originally worn by common people during the Carnival of Venice. By draping acrylic felt over a reusable form and using Rice Paste (a gluten-free maché alternative) to stiffen, students create a sculptural mask that can be decorated with paint, glitter, feathers, rhinestones, etc.

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3 – 12

Acrylic “Skins”

This project utilizes acrylic paint, but in a totally unique way...dried! Acrylic paint "skins" are easily created just by brushing paint on a non-stick palette or baker's parchment and letting it dry. You can use this plastic, flexible paint in a number of ways to create mosaics, mixed media collage, stained glass-like effects, jewelry, book covers and more!

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K – 12

Picasso-Inspired Soft Sculpture

By looking through the vast array of figurative paintings done by Picasso during his cubist phase, students may find many possibilities for soft sculpture adaptations. Fine art, sculpture and textiles combine to make this eye-catching piece!

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K – 12

“Art-O-Motion” Mechanical Sculpture

In 1913, Marcel DuChamp mounted a spinning bicycle wheel to a stool to make what is considered the first kinetic sculpture. Since then, many artists have paired physical science and engineering with artistic vision to create amazing pieces of mechanical sculpture. This simple, pulley-operated design has students design “gears” that spin on spools when a string is pulled.

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5 – 12

Fauvism is for the Birds!

Les Fauves (translation: “The Wild Beasts”) were a group of artists whose work was characterized by seemingly wild brush work and strident colors. The colors the Fauves used are also favored by wild birds. Hummingbirds like red, orange and pink. Songbirds prefer colors that mimic trees and bushes. To see which species of birds are attracted to these “beastly” colors, students create a painted, hanging birdfeeder from a stretched canvas or “upcycled” wooden frame.

K – 12
Special Education

Percussive Pods

Rattles are the only musical instrument found throughout the world. While their physical forms vary, their uses are very consistent. Many cultures give infants rattles as a toy. In rituals and ceremonies, rattles are used prominently and often believed to possess supernatural powers. Students explore texture and clay construction as they form a rattle inspired by natural shapes: seed pods, shells, gourds, rain-sticks, etc.

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K – 12
Special Education

Pop Art Portraits: in the style of Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, a key figure in the Pop Art movement, “mass-produced” silk-screened portraits of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Transferring an image of themselves onto clay and duplicating it several times, students can experiment with color combinations in portraits, just as Warhol did.

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5 – 12

Upcycled Leather and “Turquoise” Cuffs

Worn as protection in battle, support for heavy labor and to identify status, leather cuffs have shielded wrists throughout mankind’s history. To the Pueblo and Navajo, turquoise is considered sacred and powerful, the perfect adornment. This project invites students to design a cuff from an old leather belt. Embellish with “turquoise” beads fashioned from polymer clay or with stamping, lacing and marker designs.

3 – 12

Navajo-Inspired Bottles - 2 Projects by Mayco® Colors

Navajo pottery tended towards functional ware and minimalist design and decoration. Pinch, slab and coil construction methods were used to make bowls and bottles, for carrying water and food consumption. In these projects students will use their knowledge of Navajo symbols to create Navajo inspired designs on a clay bottles.

4 – 8

Polynesian “Medicine” Sticks

Polynesia is a large area in the central and southern Pacific Ocean containing more than 1,000 scattered islands. Many of these islands share cultural similarities among the various groups of people who live on them, especially in terms of their mythologies. Stories often include gods or deities that rule nature. In addition to the oral tradition, "god sticks" are made to represent these deities, usually in the form of a human face or figure wrapped in bark cloth or cord.

3 – 8

Cubist Portrait Bust

The first thing children learn when learning to draw a face or a figure is to view each part as a basic shape. This project approaches sculpture in the same way. Using geometric Styrofoam shapes, students build a bust or torso. The finished result resembles a simplified version of something you might have seen from Picasso or one of the other Cubist painters, only in three dimensions. This project is a good introduction to sculpture for young students.

K – 6

Pyramid Book

Unlock the secrets of an ancient Egyptian pyramid with this easy-to-construct box that opens to reveal “treasure” inside. When closed, the outside walls are held in place with a clay disk. Remove the disk and open the pyramid to reveal what's inside. Younger students can make artifacts from clay to place inside. Older students may be challenged to learn the inner parts of the pyramids and add paper pages to write about and illustrate their discoveries.

3 – 8

Stilt Houses

A stilt house is constructed on posts above water, allowing people to live in areas that have very little dry land. Found in many coastal and wetland regions of the world, stilt houses can be ultra modern or very basic. In this lesson, students build a stilt house while being mindful of the area where the house might exist and the lifestyle of its inhabitants.

3 – 7

Tubular Bowls

A few simple geometry skills and a little time spent making paper rolls is all that goes into this eye-catching art paper bowl. It's a great way to recycle materials or use up scrap paper, and your students will learn about repeating patterns and design rhythm as they place each tube of paper on a piece of self-adhesive film.

3 – 12

Festival Flowers

The easiest way to make colorful, three-dimensional paper flowers! Even young children will enjoy painting carnation-like blooms and creating full bouquets for Mother’s Day gifts, May Day celebrations, a Cinco de Mayo fiesta or a Hawaiian Luau. Each flower costs just pennies to make. Because the watercolors blend together and form new hues, painting each bloom is a good way to illustrate color mixing.

K – 8

Deconstructed Books

There's more to "deconstructing" a book than just altering the pages. In this project, deconstructing means changing the object from a book to a sculpture. The tools are very basic — scissors, glue, paper punches and a desire to experiment!

3 – 12
Special Education

Fiber Fusion Vessels

This project should be considered “Part Two” of our Fiber Fusion lesson plan. This project helps students stretch their imaginations and further develop a |two-dimensional artwork they’ve created by turning it into a three-dimensional sculptural piece.

7 – 12

Mini Furniture Fabrications

Students often take furniture for granted, yet how much do they really know about the furniture where they eat, sleep and study? Have they ever looked at these objects and considered them art? Or considered that an artist may have had a hand in creating them? This awareness exercise will help students learn to “see" the things surrounding them.

7 – 12

Painted “Silk” Shapes

The production and commerce of decorated silk fabrics began thousands of years ago in China. This project introduces fine-mesh polyester as a silk-like fabric for painting. Form a wire shape as a support and paint with transparent liquid acrylic color. Finished pieces are flexible and may be heat-set for outdoor display.

3 – 12

Wee Puppets

Exercising the imagination helps children develop problem-solving skills. This lesson incorporates students’ artistic skills to sculpt finger puppets out of clay and to use their imaginations to make up a story for their characters. The stories do not have to be written but can be told freely. Create a theatre in the classroom — a table with a cloth over it makes a great stage for Wee Puppets. This project is a wonderful interactive classroom event.

K – 6

Art 2 Infinity: Two projects incorporating Mirror Board

Artists through the ages have used reflective surfaces to define and alter perspective, create symmetry and "bend" reality. Mirrors have been a tool for creating art, the subject matter and the art itself. Here are two project ideas for using metallic film to capture light and create intriguing illusions: “Kaleidoscope Paintings” and “Infinity Boxes”.

K – 12

Canvas Dinnerware

A whimsical makeover for discarded dishes! Inexpensive, diverse and unmatched pieces from thrift stores, garage sales, etc. are recycled into contemporary sculptures in this project. Pieces of unprimed canvas are layered and glued to the surface, then painted with Blick Matte Acrylic color. Center the design around a theme, as Judy Chicago did in the 1970’s with “The Dinner Party” or design a place setting for a particular artist.

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5 – 12

Recycled Book Boxes

Rather than traditional pages, the interior of these “books” will hold objects collected by students. An “art box” book could contain samples of texture, color, form, and line or other examples of design elements or styles. Or a more personalized box “about me” could hold a collection of tiny photos, poems and small keepsakes.

3 – 12

Shining Constructivism

Around the 1920s, a movement in modern art began in Russia as a group of artists began constructing sculpture for an industrialized world. As new technology produced strong, shining surfaces of glass, steel and plastic, Constructivists pioneered the use of modern, mechanical materials in art. This project weaves a variety of classroom-friendly “metals” — papers, foils and wires — into relief and three-dimensional art.

5 – 12

Paper Coil Baskets

This project transforms traditional basketry into a contemporary fine craft. Paper Coiling Core is shaped and glued in layers in the same manner as a clay coil pot is constructed. Vibrant and fluid Blick Liquid Watercolors can replicate patterns from the Papago, Navajo, and Apache cultures of Native America and Northern Mexico, or painted in contemporary, abstract, or representational styles.

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5 – 8
10 – 12

Stabile Sculpture

When one hears the name of Alexander Calder, the picture of kinetic hanging mobiles immediately comes to mind. These were only a portion of Calder’s vast body of work — he also painted and created stationary pieces called “stabiles.” Often, they resembled his mobiles — but without moving parts. In this lesson, students will create a “stabile” using Taskboard — a new, natural, wood-based medium used by architects and 3-D designers to create models.

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5 – 12

Button Bracelets

Button Bracelets allow children to design a wearable piece of art with lots of color and texture — a new twist on craft bracelets! A leather wristband is used as a base and takes on a very different look when buttons and colorful wire are added.

3 – 6

Native American Story Necklaces

One of the many rich crafts produced within the Native American culture is a "fetish," or story necklace, designed to illustrate history and legend with carved creatures representing spirits, animals or ancestors.

K – 6

Tissue Vases from Recycled Containers

Turn recycled bottles or cups into "frosted glass" vases! This project allows students to work in three-dimensional designs as they build high-relief mini-murals "in the round." Younger students may create simplified and abstract work with white tissue paper and watercolors. Older students may achieve very sophisticated and detailed vases. Materials are quite inexpensive!

K – 8

Storybook Theater

From the outside, this Storybook Theater looks like a simply constructed book, but open it and a puppet stage unfolds! Children make their favorite stories come to life with puppets, props and scenery. There's even built-in pockets for holding craft stick puppets.

K – 6

Forest Dwellings: Toad House

Students will hand-build dwellings for forest animals and birds, beginning with flat clay slabs and using slump molds (and even a soda can!) to shape the slabs into three dimensional forms. They will use sprig and press molds to texture and embellish their structures to simulate trees, leaves, knot holes and burrows reminiscent of natural habitats found in woodlands.

4 – 8

Modern Figure Sculpture in the style of Alberto Giacometti

To create the gracefully haunting look of a Giacometti figure, this lesson plan introduces Paverpol™, a unique product that can be used with a variety of materials — textiles, paper, self-hardening clay, paper maché and more — to make sculptures so sturdy that they can be placed outdoors. It's non-toxic, safe for anyone to use and dries so quickly, you can make a sculpture in one day.

7 – 12

Architectural Letters

In this lesson plan, students design and construct a 3-dimensional letter using one of their initials. The surface can be decorated with descriptive words and images that are personally meaningful and unique to the student's identity. Instead of wet, messy adhesive, this process uses paper packing tape to create papier mâché. This tape is inexpensive, easy, and tidy to use, and the finished letters are hard and durable.

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3 – 12

Fabric Beads

Fine craft artists today are exploring texture and color in all mediums. The fabric beads in this project encourage experimental use of materials to enhance and enrich traditional techniques.

5 – 12

Paper Clay Leaves

Learn leaf anatomy by recreating the patterns and structure of the original. Because the clay is paper-based, it accepts watercolors, which may be reworked and blended on the surface. Watercolors enhance the veining in the leaves, pulling out their natural characteristics.

K – 12

Rhythm in Layers

Low relief sculpture with design in mind. Layer by layer, piece by piece, this three-dimensional collage is assembled with repetitious shapes and elements, illustrating the principles of rhythm, balance and movement.

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3 – 12
Special Education

Flexible "Glass" Sculpture

Using flexible, translucent acrylic paint and soft, aluminum wire, students create abstract sculptures that can be formed and reformed. Addresses the design elements of form and shape. Displayed with a light source, they have the appearance of formed glass.

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5 – 12

Textured Metal Boxes

This lesson plan combines the processes of repoussé and chasing to design a piece that looks as if it may have been crafted by an ancient silversmith. Objects are fixed to a cardboard box before the metal is applied so that the design is embossed into the metal in the style of repoussé. With tools, students then chase the metal around the objects to further define the texture.

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K – 12

Burlap Figures

Based on the sculpture of Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, students create a 3-dimensional figure study in fiber.

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7 – 12

Glass Fossils

One means by which fossils are formed is "carbonization". Over time, compression and heat remove the elements from plants and leave a detailed carbon impression behind. Glass fusion can demonstrate this process in just a few hours.

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5 – 12

Bas Relief Paintings

Students will design and sculpt a dimensional piece of artwork, creating a variety of textures, lines and depths.

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5 – 12

Filipino Parol

In the Philippines, during the Festival of Lights, parol (puh-roll), or star-shaped lanterns, symbolize the victory of light over darkness as well as hope and goodwill. These simple parol are created with natural reed, translucent rice paper and liquid watercolor. Displayed in a window or hanging from a light fixture, they make colorful, festive decorations for any season.

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3 – 8

Assemblage Art

In this particular lesson plan, students will look closely at the work of Louise Nevelson, known for her abstract sculptures made from cast-off pieces of wood — actual street “throwaways” — uniformly coated with black or white spray paint. Students will create their own assemblages from wood pieces and other cast-off objects on a panel.

5 – 12

Art Press Tools

Make your own tools for stamping image impressions, creating raised designs and adding textures to a variety of artworks. They can be pressed into clay prior to firing, polymer clay before baking and air-dry clay while still moist. Tools can also be used for creating patterns in metal foil or making texture rubbings on paper.

K – 12
Special Education

Linoleum Art Press Tools

Create simple tools that can be pressed into clay, used for embossing, texture rubbing or printmaking. Wonder-Cut Linoleum is 1/4" deep — providing plenty of depth for carving a variety of textures and dimensions and making incredibly detailed impressions.

5 – 12

High Low Relief Sculpture

This High-Low Relief Sculpture is a variation on the popular three-dimensional pin sculpture toy that can be molded into familiar shapes as pressure is applied from underneath. These sculptures will be stationary with a few other variations, as students use their imaginations to create rolling landscapes, faces, flowers or other images out of different lengths of colorfully painted craft picks.

4 – 6

Ostrich Eggshell Mosaic

In Namibia, ostrich eggshells are broken and used in many contemporary art forms. The shapes are often sanded or painted This lesson plan uses small pieces of wood and cardstock to closely resemble the thick shell pieces.

K – 12

Textile Painting with Mayco Colors

"Students use unconventional “tools” such as lace and yarn to create new textures and designs."

2 – 8

Artist’s Canvas Shoes

Students will research the painting style of a famous artist of their choice, then design a pair of painted shoes reminiscent of that artist’s design sense and choices of subjects and colors.

K – 6

Egyptian-Inspired Jewelry

The purpose of this lesson plan is not to make replicas of Egyptian jewelry but to design jewelry that is dramatic using Egyptian jewelry as a reference.

K – 12

Junkanoo Headress

Junkanoo is a festival that takes place in the Bahamas. It is a tradition that traces its roots back to the 16th century. Music, dancing and elaborate costumes are all part of Junkanoo. This lesson introduces students to a fun and whimsical cultural event by allowing them to design their own headress - an important part of the festivities!

6 – 12

Wish Boxes

Great for special occasions and gifts, these thought-filled boxes are created by bringing together two art forms: Calligraphy, which means “beautiful writing” and Origami, which translates as “folded paper”.

3 – 8

Zany Wire Sculpture

Students create a freestanding 3-dimensional sculpture using wire and modeled "clay" pieces. An exciting introductory lesson in balance, spatial relationships, color, shape and form.

K – 6

Environmental House

One of the principles of the Modern style of architecture is that the materials and functional requirements determine the design of the structure. Keeping that in mind, students will build a model of a home to function within a chosen environment.

7 – 12

Little Black Poetry Book

The molten-metal texture on the cover provides a rich presentation for the personal treasures that will be written inside. The black pages are a dramatic background for words rendered in metallic marker, gel pen, opaque colored pencils or opaque ink.

5 – 12

Shoe Shine

The use of a very unconventional medium as a classroom exercise in oil painting.

5 – 12

Snake Basket

Baskets can be woven out of almost any material, not just reeds and straw. This basket project is whimsical and freeform,using wire and colorful "snakes" that move randomly throughout the piece. Polymer clay bakes right on the wire, so finished pieces are long-lasting and very durable.

5 – 12

Southwest Native American Jewelry

Native Americans used symbols and motifs with deep cultural significance in making jewelry with clay, turquoise, coral, shell, wood and bone. After Spanish explorers brought silversmithing to Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo artists in the 1800's, Southwest jewelry developed into a distinctive art form.

7 – 12

Stained Glass Flowers

Wonderful, colorful flowers are created with a transparent, flexible paint called “Arti’Stick”. To link with botanical studies, have students study the anatomy of a flower, create and identify its parts.

3 – 8

Talking Rocks

Native Americans in the Southwest left messages on stones that still speak to us today. Some of these pictures were actually carvings called "petroglyphs".This lesson uses air-dry clay to make symbolic drawings on “stone.”

2 – 5

Three Prisms

Math and science create visual forms and establish structure.“Three Prisms” uses equilateral triangles and parallelograms. The shapes are combined and repeated for a sculpture that makes additional equilateral triangles.

K – 8

Tie-Dye Shibori Vessel

The ancient Japanese tradition of textile painting known as Shibori entails many techniques and processes including the gathering, wrapping and binding methods that we call "tie-dye" today. This 2-part lesson involves painting and draping stiffened fabric to create a sculptural piece.

7 – 12

Wireform Figure Sculpture

In this lesson by Amaco, students will select a character in motion, such as a dancer, athlete or fairy, then capture and describe its movements through pose, form and balance. Flexible, easy-to-cut new WireForm™ Rods and WireForm™ mesh sheets make it easy to translate line from a flat design into a three-dimensional space.

5 – 12

Yarn Bottles

The Huichol tribe use yarn to decorate gourds, clothing and other items, appliing it in adjacent rows of varying colors and patterns. Bottles are a 3-D surface that offers endless design possibilities.

K – 6

Water Lily Origami Pop-Up Card

For greetings, gifts or just for fun, students will enjoy making a pop-up card with a lovely folded water lily tucked inside.

5 – 8

Rain Sticks

Students construct a 3-dimensional form and fill it with rice to make gentle, percussive sounds.

K – 8

Recycled Pots

These plastic bottle pots are very handsome and perfectly shaped for decorating. Looking at them it is impossible to tell they are not made of clay.

5 – 8

Pop Charts

This page offers a few suggestions for creative art projects that support mathematical instruction on chart and graph reading.

3 – 8

Character Nichos

Students learn to make small, decorated boxes called "Nichos," a means in Mexican and South American cultures to provide a stage-like setting for an object or collection of objects that have great significance.

5 – 8

Letters + Numbers = ART

A painted book in the style of Robert Indiana. This lesson plan challenges students to choose eight ideas that can be stated with one simple word, then assemble them into a painted book.

5 – 12

Melted Crayon Clay Ornaments

This easy, kid-friendly project creates ornaments that sparkle and shine using Crayola Crayons and Sculpey III oven-bake polymer clay.

K – 6

Mythical Beasts

Students create a character — half human, half animal — write a story and build a paper maché sculpture of their creation.

5 – 12

Fingerprint Beads

Certain people influence our lives in such a way that they leave "fingerprints" behind. These simple beads make great friendship bracelets.

5 – 8

Inuit Bear Carving

The single most represented subject in North American Arctic art and legend is the polar bear. Easy-to-carve foam can be used to resemble soapstone sculptures.

5 – 8

Foam Punch

Punched tin and metal is an old, traditional craft that involves creating holes in metal with sharp tools to form a design. Original designs were abstract patterns. This safe and colorful version is also abstract.

K – 6

Free Form Vessel

Using a balloon and coffee can base, create a sturdy vessel with Sculptamold compound. Finished pieces can be painted and embellished with mosaics and collage matierals.

5 – 12

Free-Form Stencil Drawing

Choose three shapes from a design and build a new composition by repeating and combining these shapes to communicate an idea or story.

5 – 12

Glass Mosaic Panels or Tiles

Students design and make a finished product that involves breaking up their 2D design and adjusting it into a relief.

5 – 12

Good Fortune Boxes

This lesson plan celebrates the Chinese tradition of passing along good fortune or "Fu" to others.

K – 8

Faux Fossil Fun

Experience an archeological dig, right in your own classroom! Students create fossils the way that nature does - by making impressions and filling them

K – 12

Curiosity Collage

Found objects, cutouts, photos and a variety of materials are assembled in a sculptural, three-dimensional collage centered around a personal theme.

5 – 12

Decorative Paper Fans

Listed are colorful samples of simple fans. Discuss the importance of fans and how they were used to keep people comfortable for years.

K – 6

Donkey Beads and Bells

Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

K – 12

Dug-Out Clay Plaque

Students transform a thick slab of clay into a 3D plaque.

7 – 12

Egyptian Fan

Ancient Egyptians applied gold leaf onto carved wood panels to tell stories and create opulence and on everyday objects. Follow the process these artists used to carve and gild a fan fit for King Tutankhamen.

5 – 12

Stylized Cone Icons

Using the example of a suspension bridge, students plan and create a sculpture focused on balance, stability and strength. Foamboard with colorful wire provides a blending of aesthetics and function.

5 – 12

Bead Writing

“Write” names and messages by stringing beads on a bendable wire. Hang finished pieces in a window, string on a necklace or around a hat, pin to a bulletin board or display on a piece of matboard as a piece of art.

5 – 8

Beyond Beads

Beads can be made from a variety of materials, including Wonderfoam, chenille stems and Woodsies

K – 5

Canvas Screen

Students use all the elements and principles of design.

8 – 12

Cast Handmade Paper

Handmade paper is beautiful in itself. If you add dimension and shape, it becomes a work of art.

5 – 12

Clay Wall Pocket Bird Mask

Wall pockets have a long history as decorative and functional items. They have been used for years to hold flowers, perfumes and light sources

5 – 12

Claymation Metamorphosis

An introduction to the basics of Claymation and media production using a familiar scientific theme — the metamorphasis of a butterfly.

5 – 12

Coil-Built Pueblo Bowl

Students explore Native American pottery traditions and discover the purpose behind the animal imagery and geometric patterns used to decorate various pottery forms. Students with kiln access will learn how to use underglazes and glazes to transform their bowls into functional ware

3 – 8

Float People

"Marc Chagall, is known for his paintings of floating, dream-like people, animals and objects. Students design “Float People” to display their understanding of colorful imaginary images."

K – 6

Gelly Bowls

Dimensional collage using wire mesh and acrylic gel medium. Develop color, texture and design with paint, photocopies, images, music, text, colorful papers and many different objects inside the transaprent gel. Once dry, the form can be easily manipulated into a bowl.

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5 – 12

Hand Signals

"Create a fully posable hand to help students learn to communicate in sign language."

3 – 5

Lazertran Metal Sculpture

This process takes any computer image and turns it into a 3-dimensional sculpture.

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5 – 12

Martin Puryear-Inspired Basketry

Students learn the importance of negative space while creating a non-traditional basket by focusing on it as a sculptural element rather than a functional object. Being a non-representational form, these abstract baskets draw attention to volume and space and redefine what a basket is intended for.

3 – 12

One Hundred Sprirts

This project memorializes heroes and ancestors in fabric. The disciplines of music and dance combine with the visual arts to produce plays and theatrical presentations of the spirit.

5 – 12

Painted Locket

Over the centuries and across many cultures, lockets have been worn as tiny, portable treasure chests. Students paint the front of a mini canvas and use the back to display a small photo or something with meaning and value.

K – 12
Special Education

Paper Dishes

These papier mâché dishes are an example of utilitarian items that can also be used as décor.

3 – 8

Primitive Semi-Flat Dolls

There is a rich history in dollmaking techniques throughout the centuries. These soft dolls are painted, stuffed and glued together — so the construction is easy and safe.

4 – 6

Simple Pate de Verre

Translated to “glass paste,” the French term Pate de Verre refers to a glass vessel kiln-fired in a mold. This lesson shows how to make a simple one-part mold and glass casting.

5 – 12

Sunshine on a Stick

This project teaches free-form weaving in the round. The sticks are extremely bright and pretty when finished and look great in a vase or potted plant.

2 – 6

Wind Catchers

This step-by-step project from Mayco Colors demonstrates how to make insect-themed Wind Catchers from bisqueware pieces.

3 – 8

3D Contour Collage

Students create a dimensional line drawing out of flexible wire then cover it with assorted papers and tissues for a whimsical, lightweight sculpture.

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5 – 12

African Ceremonial Mask

Studying the rich history of maskmaking in Africa is a perfect way for students to experience the relationship between the process of creating a piece of art, and appreciating the significance it carries

5 – 12

African Embossed Leather Box

Creates African-inspired art by covering paper-maché boxes with Leather Bookcloth. Emboss with patterns and textures and add colorful beads by gluing or stitching.

5 – 12

American Pie

A “slice” of American Culture! Students design a clay pie piece piled high with symbols, icons and representations of their favorite things.

5 – 12

Animal Masks

From Mayco Colors, this lesson gives students the opportunity to explore the history and function of masks in various cultures and times. Students will be able to learn and master basic hand building and sculpting techniques using either self-hardening clay or clay requiring kiln firing.

K – 6

Art-Zee Dice Game

Decorate small wooden blocks with symbols, letters, numbers, patterns or images to create dice and a colorful "shaker" jar. Scorecard included in lesson plan.

K – 6

Arti'Stick Mobile

Students will study works of stained glass as a one dimensional art form and adapt what they learn to a three dimensional sculpture — a brilliantly-colored transparent mobile.

2 – 6

Artist's Canvas Painted Shoes

Using Tee Juice® Fabric Markers, students design a pair of painted shoes reminiscent of a famous artist's style and choices of subjects and colors.

K – 6

Bead Bottles

Bead bottles are the result of studying Huichol beaded gourds. Their technique can be applied to 3D objects available to students. Hours and hours of dedication are involved in the small bottle art.

5 – 12

Bones

A full skeleton illustrates movement during a wide range of activities. The addition of a background turns this project into a more complete artwork.

3 – 6

Book of Secrets

This book-making and collage project uses small matchboxes as drawers to tuck away secrets, supporting a variety of literary and historical studies, such as “The Hiding Place” (Anne Frank) or the Underground Railroad.

3 – 12

Castles

Students will learn how each of the architectural elements of a castle was designed for the purpose of protection and design their own fortress by making a “pop-out” from construction paper.

3 – 8

Classroom Chihuly

Give students an opportunity to enjoy creating random organic forms with color and transparency similar to actual glass.

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2 – 12

Egyptian Relief Sculpture by Amaco

Students should research hieroglyphs and find a hieroglyphic symbol that has meaning to them. They might choose their initial as a their symbol, or create a figure in the style of an Egyptian Queen or Pharaoh.

4 – 6

Tissue Topiary

Topiary is the art of turning living plants into sculptures that are constantly growing and changing — a form of landscape art. In this project, an art topiary is made of a wire base, green tissue paper and twine. Although this Tissue Topiary will require some initial sculpting, no care will be needed after construction!

4 – 12

2009 Totems

Students create a modern-day totem pole with hand-formed clay animals positioned on a wooden dowel.

5 – 8

ATC "Twist" Album

This simply-constructed book holds up to 20 Artist’s Trading Cards without drilling them or gluing them. Folded paper sleeves hold the cards in place as they rotate or “twist” out into a fan for display. Cards slide easily in and out of the sleeves when needed. Collage, stamp, paint, draw or decorate the matboard cover in any manner to make it personal and unique.

5 – 12

Kinetic Dura-Lar Sculpture

This lesson will attract students to the abstract as they create their own hanging kinetic sculptures from lightweight polyester material.

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5 – 12

click to collapse

Grades 9 – 12

 

Grade Level

NEW! Figures in Motion

Inspired by the painting and sculpture of Edgar Degas, this lesson allows students to explore proportion and describe movement using a flat, paper doll-type figure that can be manipulated when wet and is rigid when dry.

5 – 12

NEW! Bowled Over by Picasso

Picasso viewed the ceramic vessels he painted on as a type of canvas that curved. Make a slump or hump molded bowl, then paint colorful imagery on it's interior using underglazes. Finish with clear glaze.

3 – 12

NEW! Circle Wall Sculpture

The circle has played a role in the art of every culture, often symbolizing unity and completeness. This simple reed-and-paper design demonstrates how balance, emphasis, patterns, rhythm, movement, and unity produce integrality in a piece of visual art.

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5 – 12

NEW! “Glass” Panel Book

A twist on the tunnel book, this in-depth poetry presentation stars repurposed transparent CD cases. Students learn how artists create visual depth in art while designing a book that illustrates an eight-line poem they have selected or written.

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8 – 12

NEW! “Mama” Spider Sculptures

Created as an ode to her mother, one of the largest sculptures in the world is Louise Bourgeois’ “Maman.” — a bronze spider that stands 30 feet tall. These wire and tissue versions assume natural, and sometimes even creepy, poses!

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3 – 12

NEW! Curtain of Leaves Monoprint

Many artists have used trees as an inspiration for their work. Pressed leaves and texture tools are used to make one-of-a-kind, double-sided monoprints. Using a flexible printing block as a plate makes it easy!

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3 – 12

NEW! Shibori Kimono

Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

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3 – 12

NEW! Shoe Shrine

Make a sculptural shrine from an outgrown or second-hand shoe! Primed with modeling paste, covered with ornate embellishments, and then aligned vertically, an everyday shoe can become a dramatic backdrop for relics that represent a student’s favorite thing, place, idea, or event.

3 – 12

NEW! Upcycled Saucer Basket

A variety of new “fibers” are being employed today by many basket makers. Use traditional basket-weaving methods combined with fibers of the new age such as newspapers, plastics, wire, or grocery bags!

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5 – 12

Creative Quill Pens

For over 1000 years, the quill was the principle writing tool in the Western world. Imagine the stories, poems and sketches that can be made with a hybrid quill and dip pen designed to be a work of art in itself!

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3 – 12

Byzantine Bell

Create a copper bell from metal foil and give it a salt-and-vinegar patina! Cut, fold and emboss metal sheet and add a beaded clapper. Watch a patina develop over night and display in or out!

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5 – 12

Simple Silk Screen in the Round

Silk screening is made simple with the use of an embroidery hoop frame and Mod Podge! Simply draw an image on silk screen fabric with a pencil and paint around the outside with Mod Podge. Pull fabric ink though with a squeegee and you're done! Add handpainted details to add even more color.

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2 – 12

Steampunk Entomology

Create a futuristic insect specimen using clay, discarded metal pieces, and wire. Make an air dry clay body, push wire legs, antennae and steampunk embellishments into the soft clay, add wings and let dry to harden! Embellish with paints, if desired.

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K – 12

Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppetry

Tell a story through a traditional Indonesian shadow puppet play! Make a puppet that looks like leather by dampening and crinkling black cardstock, then create interesting patterns with paper punches. Finish with metallic markers and glue to dowels!

K – 12

Wire Art Quilt

A decorative, sculptural interpretation of the Friendship Quilt. Wire is an amazing art medium — it can be bent to form a variety of lines, shapes, letters, and images, outlining patterns in the way that individual pieces of fabric make up each square in a traditional quilt. Elementary-age students can work easily with chenille stems and colorful plastic-coated wire while older students will create art with soft steel, aluminum, and copper wire

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3 – 12

Anaglyph Artistry

Make a composition for viewing with 3-D glasses! Turn an original drawing into a three-dimensional anaglyph using red and blue transfer paper with red and blue markers. Then, make the 3-D glasses necessary to make it pop!

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2 – 12

Block-Print Koinobori

In Japan, Children's Day on May 5th is heralded by the appearance of flying fish: carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. In this lesson, students design a “scale”-shaped block from soft block printing material and apply it repetitively to outdoor-safe fabric that has been cut in the shape of a fish. Add details like eyes, fins, and a tail using metallic and sparkle paint, and the Koinobori is ready to hang and “swim” through the breeze!

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3 – 12

Butterfield Horse

Construct a high-relief horse using Activa Fast Mache and found objects. Combine a painted and collaged background with a horse made of quick mache, sticks, pine needles, leaves, and shredded papers in the style of Debra Butterfield.

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3 – 12

Concentric Kirigami

A variation on Japanese Origami, Kirigami is created by folding paper and cutting portions away. This surprisingly uncomplicated relief sculpture is assembled with “rings” cut from double-sided sheets of colorful cardstock. The edges of the rings are folded, cut, unfolded, and layered concentrically (placed around the same center point) to make modern-day Kirigami designs.

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3 – 12

Convertible “Canned” Sculpture

Composition — the way the elements of a piece of art are arranged and relate to each other — can be difficult to grasp. This lesson plan presents an easy, forgiving way to see the effects of composition while using the dimensional works of Frank Stella as an example. The sculpture is assembled with magnets on a metal can so it can be taken apart and rearranged to see how the composition is affected — what works and what doesn’t.

3 – 12

Flower Garden Tiles

Easily make flower tiles by carving clay, filling with plaster, and finishing with liquid watercolors.

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K – 12

Make-a-Mock-Moc!

Create a traditional Chippewa or Pucker-top moccasin using canvas, suede or leather remnants, seed beads and paint.

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5 – 12

The Walls are Watching You!

Form a whimsical and functional "pocket" to animate a wall. This project combines the wall pocket with a face jug, creating a fun and whimsical (or scary) face pocket out of clay.

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2 – 12

Upcycled "Wild Thing" Mittens

An outgrown sweater becomes a fun pair of costume mittens! Use a recycled wool sweater, shrink film, and other adornments to create a fun and functional "Wild Thing" mitten.

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K – 12

Books that POP!

Paper engineering meets the principles of design! This procces breaks pop-up designs into three very basic techniques - spirals, zig-zags, and boxes - and focuses on design elements: color, form, shape, and space. A simple hinging technique using the ever-popular, colorfully patterned DuckTape allows the book to open and lie flat for the most eye-popping and paper-popping look!

3 – 12

All Aglow Chinese Lantern

An origami "Chinese Lantern" that glows in the dark! Using Dura-Lar film, markers, and glow-in-the dark paint, create a hanging lantern, and learn a basic origami shape.

3 – 12

Coral Reef Creation

Brilliantly replicate thousands of years of oceanic evolution in just a few hours. Using clay, paint, and pearlescent mixing medium, along with handmade clay stamps, create a beautiful coral sculpture.

K – 12

Dancing Houses

Part cartoonist and part Picasso, the art of Brooklyn-born James Rizzi is highly recognizable. His playful, brilliant images created a style he described as “Urban Primitive.” Students will enjoy making a classroom cityscape of fun and fabulous construction paper buildings. A simple wire armature beneath allows the structure to be playfully positioned -— almost as if it were dancing. This project provides a lesson in movement as design principle.

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K – 9

My Daruma

A traditional Japanese weighted toy, Daruma always return to an upright position. This project reveals how to weight the bottom of a plastic egg and cover with instant maché to make these symbols of success, determination, and overcoming adversity.

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3 – 12

Sound Sculpture Inspired by Jean Tinguely

Swiss artist Jean Tinguely created whimsical machine-like contraptions of found metal parts, known as “metamechanics”. In this lesson plan, students create a kinetic sculpture with repurposed metal hardware, found objects, and wire placed so that they deliberately move against one another. Much like Tinguely’s machines, some of the noises may be pleasant — others may not— but each will have a very unique metallic, mechanical “voice.”

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3 – 12

Ancient Bas-Relief Casting

Create an ancient "carving" using cast paper and blasa foam!

5 – 12

Accordion Poetry

Transform a single line of text into a dimensional work of art!

5 – 12

Art-O-Motion 2

Sculptor George Rickey used scientific precision and physics, functioning with wind to construct heavy steel sculptures that seemed to defy gravity and float on air. In this lesson, students create a simple sculpture around a rotary hub with stacked wooden beads and soft wire. When a direct air current is applied to metallic paper “sails” (blow on it!), the sculpture blades turn gently.

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5 – 12

ArtStraw Architecture

Skyscrapers evolved from the inside out — as steel frames became stronger, windows and walls became lighter, like a “skin.” Students can construct high-rise buildings (or low-rise designs) that are extremely light and open — they're made with paper straws and corrugated plastic joints (no glue required). Imagination grows with the construction — higher and higher!

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5 – 12

Many Metals “Day of the Dead” Triptych

Celebrate a happy and colorful Mexican tradition with many metals! Using the skull as a symbol of rebirth, create a triptych with embossed metal, papier mâché, and lots of color and sparkle!

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5 – 12

New Guinean “Plant Paste” Doll

Make a hand-built ritual doll with only three simple materials! Knead together clay, instant papier mâché and burlap fibers to create an intriguing art doll. Add body paint and embellish by adding seed bead teeth, a shell necklace, or clothing made of burlap.

4 – 12

Textural Glass Slumping

Create a textured clay mold to use again and again! Carve a design into a slab and bisque fire it. After coating it with kiln wash, this mold can be used many times to impart unique textures to slumped glass pieces.

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3 – 12

Mehndi Art Gloves

Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

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K – 12
Special Education

African Clay Boxes

By making an animal shaped box out of clay, students honor both the vast diversity of Africa’s animal world, and also create a functional work of art! After choosing a favorite African animal, students will hand build a clay box with lid.

5 – 12

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

Eye-Popping Paper Curls

Quilling is also known as paper filligree, paper rolling, mosaic or paper folding (even though the paper is really curled). In this project, students will try their hand at quilling in a truly sculptural way. By using much larger, thicker strips of paper, the finished product "pops" out in a very optical way. By using black on white, the effect is even further emphasized.

3 – 12

Have a Ball! with distorted self-portraits

Observing and reproducing the distortion caused by a concave reflection is the topic of this lesson plan, as students make self-portraits inspired by M.C. Escher's “Hand with Reflecting Globe.” The canvas is a vinyl bouncing ball. Elementary ages can be challenged to create a continuous painting — with no beginning or end — then “Have a Ball!” playing with their own artwork.

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K – 12
Special Education

Miniature Treasure Keeper

Joseph Cornell's (1903-1972) most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These were simple boxes in which he arranged surprising collections of photgraphs or bric-a-brac in a way that combines the formality of Constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Students will gather pieces of nostalgia or found objects to embed in plaster within an arrangement of mini canvas "boxes".

K – 12

Rolly Bowls

Glazing isn't the only way to create beautiful surfaces! Agateware pottery features swirling marbelized colors and was probably first developed to imitate the qualities of agate, a semiprecious stone with striated patterning. These swirling effects can be created by working with thin slabs of colored clay that has been layered to create patterns. This technique allows for both precise patterns and free, random effects.

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3 – 12

Venetian Volto Mask

The Italian word “volto” translates as “face”. These full-face masks were known as “citizen’s masks” because they were originally worn by common people during the Carnival of Venice. By draping acrylic felt over a reusable form and using Rice Paste (a gluten-free maché alternative) to stiffen, students create a sculptural mask that can be decorated with paint, glitter, feathers, rhinestones, etc.

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3 – 12

Acrylic “Skins”

This project utilizes acrylic paint, but in a totally unique way...dried! Acrylic paint "skins" are easily created just by brushing paint on a non-stick palette or baker's parchment and letting it dry. You can use this plastic, flexible paint in a number of ways to create mosaics, mixed media collage, stained glass-like effects, jewelry, book covers and more!

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K – 12

Picasso-Inspired Soft Sculpture

By looking through the vast array of figurative paintings done by Picasso during his cubist phase, students may find many possibilities for soft sculpture adaptations. Fine art, sculpture and textiles combine to make this eye-catching piece!

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K – 12

“Art-O-Motion” Mechanical Sculpture

In 1913, Marcel DuChamp mounted a spinning bicycle wheel to a stool to make what is considered the first kinetic sculpture. Since then, many artists have paired physical science and engineering with artistic vision to create amazing pieces of mechanical sculpture. This simple, pulley-operated design has students design “gears” that spin on spools when a string is pulled.

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5 – 12

Fauvism is for the Birds!

Les Fauves (translation: “The Wild Beasts”) were a group of artists whose work was characterized by seemingly wild brush work and strident colors. The colors the Fauves used are also favored by wild birds. Hummingbirds like red, orange and pink. Songbirds prefer colors that mimic trees and bushes. To see which species of birds are attracted to these “beastly” colors, students create a painted, hanging birdfeeder from a stretched canvas or “upcycled” wooden frame.

K – 12
Special Education

Percussive Pods

Rattles are the only musical instrument found throughout the world. While their physical forms vary, their uses are very consistent. Many cultures give infants rattles as a toy. In rituals and ceremonies, rattles are used prominently and often believed to possess supernatural powers. Students explore texture and clay construction as they form a rattle inspired by natural shapes: seed pods, shells, gourds, rain-sticks, etc.

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K – 12
Special Education

Pop Art Portraits: in the style of Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, a key figure in the Pop Art movement, “mass-produced” silk-screened portraits of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Transferring an image of themselves onto clay and duplicating it several times, students can experiment with color combinations in portraits, just as Warhol did.

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5 – 12

Upcycled Leather and “Turquoise” Cuffs

Worn as protection in battle, support for heavy labor and to identify status, leather cuffs have shielded wrists throughout mankind’s history. To the Pueblo and Navajo, turquoise is considered sacred and powerful, the perfect adornment. This project invites students to design a cuff from an old leather belt. Embellish with “turquoise” beads fashioned from polymer clay or with stamping, lacing and marker designs.

3 – 12

Tubular Bowls

A few simple geometry skills and a little time spent making paper rolls is all that goes into this eye-catching art paper bowl. It's a great way to recycle materials or use up scrap paper, and your students will learn about repeating patterns and design rhythm as they place each tube of paper on a piece of self-adhesive film.

3 – 12

Deconstructed Books

There's more to "deconstructing" a book than just altering the pages. In this project, deconstructing means changing the object from a book to a sculpture. The tools are very basic — scissors, glue, paper punches and a desire to experiment!

3 – 12
Special Education

Fiber Fusion Vessels

This project should be considered “Part Two” of our Fiber Fusion lesson plan. This project helps students stretch their imaginations and further develop a |two-dimensional artwork they’ve created by turning it into a three-dimensional sculptural piece.

7 – 12

Mini Furniture Fabrications

Students often take furniture for granted, yet how much do they really know about the furniture where they eat, sleep and study? Have they ever looked at these objects and considered them art? Or considered that an artist may have had a hand in creating them? This awareness exercise will help students learn to “see" the things surrounding them.

7 – 12

Painted “Silk” Shapes

The production and commerce of decorated silk fabrics began thousands of years ago in China. This project introduces fine-mesh polyester as a silk-like fabric for painting. Form a wire shape as a support and paint with transparent liquid acrylic color. Finished pieces are flexible and may be heat-set for outdoor display.

3 – 12

Art 2 Infinity: Two projects incorporating Mirror Board

Artists through the ages have used reflective surfaces to define and alter perspective, create symmetry and "bend" reality. Mirrors have been a tool for creating art, the subject matter and the art itself. Here are two project ideas for using metallic film to capture light and create intriguing illusions: “Kaleidoscope Paintings” and “Infinity Boxes”.

K – 12

Canvas Dinnerware

A whimsical makeover for discarded dishes! Inexpensive, diverse and unmatched pieces from thrift stores, garage sales, etc. are recycled into contemporary sculptures in this project. Pieces of unprimed canvas are layered and glued to the surface, then painted with Blick Matte Acrylic color. Center the design around a theme, as Judy Chicago did in the 1970’s with “The Dinner Party” or design a place setting for a particular artist.

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5 – 12

Recycled Book Boxes

Rather than traditional pages, the interior of these “books” will hold objects collected by students. An “art box” book could contain samples of texture, color, form, and line or other examples of design elements or styles. Or a more personalized box “about me” could hold a collection of tiny photos, poems and small keepsakes.

3 – 12

Shining Constructivism

Around the 1920s, a movement in modern art began in Russia as a group of artists began constructing sculpture for an industrialized world. As new technology produced strong, shining surfaces of glass, steel and plastic, Constructivists pioneered the use of modern, mechanical materials in art. This project weaves a variety of classroom-friendly “metals” — papers, foils and wires — into relief and three-dimensional art.

5 – 12

Paper Coil Baskets

This project transforms traditional basketry into a contemporary fine craft. Paper Coiling Core is shaped and glued in layers in the same manner as a clay coil pot is constructed. Vibrant and fluid Blick Liquid Watercolors can replicate patterns from the Papago, Navajo, and Apache cultures of Native America and Northern Mexico, or painted in contemporary, abstract, or representational styles.

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5 – 8
10 – 12

Stabile Sculpture

When one hears the name of Alexander Calder, the picture of kinetic hanging mobiles immediately comes to mind. These were only a portion of Calder’s vast body of work — he also painted and created stationary pieces called “stabiles.” Often, they resembled his mobiles — but without moving parts. In this lesson, students will create a “stabile” using Taskboard — a new, natural, wood-based medium used by architects and 3-D designers to create models.

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5 – 12

Modern Figure Sculpture in the style of Alberto Giacometti

To create the gracefully haunting look of a Giacometti figure, this lesson plan introduces Paverpol™, a unique product that can be used with a variety of materials — textiles, paper, self-hardening clay, paper maché and more — to make sculptures so sturdy that they can be placed outdoors. It's non-toxic, safe for anyone to use and dries so quickly, you can make a sculpture in one day.

7 – 12

Architectural Letters

In this lesson plan, students design and construct a 3-dimensional letter using one of their initials. The surface can be decorated with descriptive words and images that are personally meaningful and unique to the student's identity. Instead of wet, messy adhesive, this process uses paper packing tape to create papier mâché. This tape is inexpensive, easy, and tidy to use, and the finished letters are hard and durable.

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3 – 12

Fabric Beads

Fine craft artists today are exploring texture and color in all mediums. The fabric beads in this project encourage experimental use of materials to enhance and enrich traditional techniques.

5 – 12

Paper Clay Leaves

Learn leaf anatomy by recreating the patterns and structure of the original. Because the clay is paper-based, it accepts watercolors, which may be reworked and blended on the surface. Watercolors enhance the veining in the leaves, pulling out their natural characteristics.

K – 12

Rhythm in Layers

Low relief sculpture with design in mind. Layer by layer, piece by piece, this three-dimensional collage is assembled with repetitious shapes and elements, illustrating the principles of rhythm, balance and movement.

Watch the Video

3 – 12
Special Education

Flexible "Glass" Sculpture

Using flexible, translucent acrylic paint and soft, aluminum wire, students create abstract sculptures that can be formed and reformed. Addresses the design elements of form and shape. Displayed with a light source, they have the appearance of formed glass.

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5 – 12

Textured Metal Boxes

This lesson plan combines the processes of repoussé and chasing to design a piece that looks as if it may have been crafted by an ancient silversmith. Objects are fixed to a cardboard box before the metal is applied so that the design is embossed into the metal in the style of repoussé. With tools, students then chase the metal around the objects to further define the texture.

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K – 12

Burlap Figures

Based on the sculpture of Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, students create a 3-dimensional figure study in fiber.

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7 – 12

Glass Fossils

One means by which fossils are formed is "carbonization". Over time, compression and heat remove the elements from plants and leave a detailed carbon impression behind. Glass fusion can demonstrate this process in just a few hours.

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5 – 12

Bas Relief Paintings

Students will design and sculpt a dimensional piece of artwork, creating a variety of textures, lines and depths.

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5 – 12

Assemblage Art

In this particular lesson plan, students will look closely at the work of Louise Nevelson, known for her abstract sculptures made from cast-off pieces of wood — actual street “throwaways” — uniformly coated with black or white spray paint. Students will create their own assemblages from wood pieces and other cast-off objects on a panel.

5 – 12

Art Press Tools

Make your own tools for stamping image impressions, creating raised designs and adding textures to a variety of artworks. They can be pressed into clay prior to firing, polymer clay before baking and air-dry clay while still moist. Tools can also be used for creating patterns in metal foil or making texture rubbings on paper.

K – 12
Special Education

Linoleum Art Press Tools

Create simple tools that can be pressed into clay, used for embossing, texture rubbing or printmaking. Wonder-Cut Linoleum is 1/4" deep — providing plenty of depth for carving a variety of textures and dimensions and making incredibly detailed impressions.

5 – 12

Drop Ring Glass Slumping

The drop ring glass slumping process is an advanced technique that produces an endless array of dramatic shapes and effects. This is achieved by leaving the center part of a glass piece unsupported during the firing process, allowing the center of the glass to sag or “slump” into the open space below it.

9 – 12

Ostrich Eggshell Mosaic

In Namibia, ostrich eggshells are broken and used in many contemporary art forms. The shapes are often sanded or painted This lesson plan uses small pieces of wood and cardstock to closely resemble the thick shell pieces.

K – 12

Egyptian-Inspired Jewelry

The purpose of this lesson plan is not to make replicas of Egyptian jewelry but to design jewelry that is dramatic using Egyptian jewelry as a reference.

K – 12

Junkanoo Headress

Junkanoo is a festival that takes place in the Bahamas. It is a tradition that traces its roots back to the 16th century. Music, dancing and elaborate costumes are all part of Junkanoo. This lesson introduces students to a fun and whimsical cultural event by allowing them to design their own headress - an important part of the festivities!

6 – 12

Wire Weave

Students construct a metal wire and mesh woven relief sculpture. A unique approach to weaving, students overlap wire mesh, practice sewing techniques without a needle and create a mixed media collage.

9 – 12

Environmental House

One of the principles of the Modern style of architecture is that the materials and functional requirements determine the design of the structure. Keeping that in mind, students will build a model of a home to function within a chosen environment.

7 – 12

Little Black Poetry Book

The molten-metal texture on the cover provides a rich presentation for the personal treasures that will be written inside. The black pages are a dramatic background for words rendered in metallic marker, gel pen, opaque colored pencils or opaque ink.

5 – 12

Shoe Shine

The use of a very unconventional medium as a classroom exercise in oil painting.

5 – 12

Slab Vase

Clay vessels have forever been examples of a culture’s ability to combine art and function. The focus in this lesson is to experiment with slab construction, using self-hardening clays.

9 – 12

Snake Basket

Baskets can be woven out of almost any material, not just reeds and straw. This basket project is whimsical and freeform,using wire and colorful "snakes" that move randomly throughout the piece. Polymer clay bakes right on the wire, so finished pieces are long-lasting and very durable.

5 – 12

Soft Sculpture

Claes Oldenburg popularized soft sculpture in the 1960's with flaccid everyday objects such as a fan, light switch and drum set.This lesson plan is an introduction to textile painting and fabric assemblage, as well as sculpture.

9 – 12

Southwest Native American Jewelry

Native Americans used symbols and motifs with deep cultural significance in making jewelry with clay, turquoise, coral, shell, wood and bone. After Spanish explorers brought silversmithing to Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo artists in the 1800's, Southwest jewelry developed into a distinctive art form.

7 – 12

Tie-Dye Shibori Vessel

The ancient Japanese tradition of textile painting known as Shibori entails many techniques and processes including the gathering, wrapping and binding methods that we call "tie-dye" today. This 2-part lesson involves painting and draping stiffened fabric to create a sculptural piece.

7 – 12

Wireform Figure Sculpture

In this lesson by Amaco, students will select a character in motion, such as a dancer, athlete or fairy, then capture and describe its movements through pose, form and balance. Flexible, easy-to-cut new WireForm™ Rods and WireForm™ mesh sheets make it easy to translate line from a flat design into a three-dimensional space.

5 – 12

Year “2100” Sock Dolls

Students investigate dolls and games in history and cultures. All cultures have dolls and are a fascinating reflection of climate, resources, ideas and technology. This particular lesson challenges the student to look into the future and reflect on the past.

9 – 12

Paper Relief Sculpture

Students will learn to construct a relief sculpture using the elements and principles of art and paper construction techniques.

9 – 12

Lazertran Polymer Portraits

Incorporating New Media with traditional art, this process challenges students to use digital images to create a mask or 3-dimensional portrait.

9 – 12

Letters + Numbers = ART

A painted book in the style of Robert Indiana. This lesson plan challenges students to choose eight ideas that can be stated with one simple word, then assemble them into a painted book.

5 – 12

Mythical Beasts

Students create a character — half human, half animal — write a story and build a paper maché sculpture of their creation.

5 – 12

Free Form Vessel

Using a balloon and coffee can base, create a sturdy vessel with Sculptamold compound. Finished pieces can be painted and embellished with mosaics and collage matierals.

5 – 12

Free-Form Stencil Drawing

Choose three shapes from a design and build a new composition by repeating and combining these shapes to communicate an idea or story.

5 – 12

Glass Mosaic Panels or Tiles

Students design and make a finished product that involves breaking up their 2D design and adjusting it into a relief.

5 – 12

Faux Fossil Fun

Experience an archeological dig, right in your own classroom! Students create fossils the way that nature does - by making impressions and filling them

K – 12

Copper Metal Box

Students are eager to develop artwork unique in terms of creating personnal interpretation of aesthetics. This metal box project stresses the effective use of organizational principals.

9 – 12

Curiosity Collage

Found objects, cutouts, photos and a variety of materials are assembled in a sculptural, three-dimensional collage centered around a personal theme.

5 – 12

Donkey Beads and Bells

Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

K – 12

Dug-Out Clay Plaque

Students transform a thick slab of clay into a 3D plaque.

7 – 12

Egyptian Fan

Ancient Egyptians applied gold leaf onto carved wood panels to tell stories and create opulence and on everyday objects. Follow the process these artists used to carve and gild a fan fit for King Tutankhamen.

5 – 12

Stylized Cone Icons

Using the example of a suspension bridge, students plan and create a sculpture focused on balance, stability and strength. Foamboard with colorful wire provides a blending of aesthetics and function.

5 – 12

Cable Sculpture

Using the example of a suspension bridge, students plan and create a sculpture focused on balance, stability and strength. Foamboard with colorful wire provides a blending of aesthetics and function.

9 – 12

Canvas Screen

Students use all the elements and principles of design.

8 – 12

Cast Handmade Paper

Handmade paper is beautiful in itself. If you add dimension and shape, it becomes a work of art.

5 – 12

Clay Wall Pocket Bird Mask

Wall pockets have a long history as decorative and functional items. They have been used for years to hold flowers, perfumes and light sources

5 – 12

Claymation Metamorphosis

An introduction to the basics of Claymation and media production using a familiar scientific theme — the metamorphasis of a butterfly.

5 – 12

Gelly Bowls

Dimensional collage using wire mesh and acrylic gel medium. Develop color, texture and design with paint, photocopies, images, music, text, colorful papers and many different objects inside the transaprent gel. Once dry, the form can be easily manipulated into a bowl.

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5 – 12

Lazertran Metal Sculpture

This process takes any computer image and turns it into a 3-dimensional sculpture.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Martin Puryear-Inspired Basketry

Students learn the importance of negative space while creating a non-traditional basket by focusing on it as a sculptural element rather than a functional object. Being a non-representational form, these abstract baskets draw attention to volume and space and redefine what a basket is intended for.

3 – 12

One Hundred Sprirts

This project memorializes heroes and ancestors in fabric. The disciplines of music and dance combine with the visual arts to produce plays and theatrical presentations of the spirit.

5 – 12

Painted Locket

Over the centuries and across many cultures, lockets have been worn as tiny, portable treasure chests. Students paint the front of a mini canvas and use the back to display a small photo or something with meaning and value.

K – 12
Special Education

Simple Pate de Verre

Translated to “glass paste,” the French term Pate de Verre refers to a glass vessel kiln-fired in a mold. This lesson shows how to make a simple one-part mold and glass casting.

5 – 12

Slab Clay Figure

Students create a figure while interpreting a culture's economic and social development.

9 – 12

3D Contour Collage

Students create a dimensional line drawing out of flexible wire then cover it with assorted papers and tissues for a whimsical, lightweight sculpture.

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5 – 12

Abstract Planes in a Paper Sculpture

Students will create a small scale model that will teach them to design a free-standing object considering both structural and design components

9 – 12

African Ceremonial Mask

Studying the rich history of maskmaking in Africa is a perfect way for students to experience the relationship between the process of creating a piece of art, and appreciating the significance it carries

5 – 12

African Embossed Leather Box

Creates African-inspired art by covering paper-maché boxes with Leather Bookcloth. Emboss with patterns and textures and add colorful beads by gluing or stitching.

5 – 12

American Pie

A “slice” of American Culture! Students design a clay pie piece piled high with symbols, icons and representations of their favorite things.

5 – 12

Bead Bottles

Bead bottles are the result of studying Huichol beaded gourds. Their technique can be applied to 3D objects available to students. Hours and hours of dedication are involved in the small bottle art.

5 – 12

Book of Secrets

This book-making and collage project uses small matchboxes as drawers to tuck away secrets, supporting a variety of literary and historical studies, such as “The Hiding Place” (Anne Frank) or the Underground Railroad.

3 – 12

Classroom Chihuly

Give students an opportunity to enjoy creating random organic forms with color and transparency similar to actual glass.

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2 – 12

Tissue Topiary

Topiary is the art of turning living plants into sculptures that are constantly growing and changing — a form of landscape art. In this project, an art topiary is made of a wire base, green tissue paper and twine. Although this Tissue Topiary will require some initial sculpting, no care will be needed after construction!

4 – 12

ATC "Twist" Album

This simply-constructed book holds up to 20 Artist’s Trading Cards without drilling them or gluing them. Folded paper sleeves hold the cards in place as they rotate or “twist” out into a fan for display. Cards slide easily in and out of the sleeves when needed. Collage, stamp, paint, draw or decorate the matboard cover in any manner to make it personal and unique.

5 – 12

Kinetic Dura-Lar Sculpture

This lesson will attract students to the abstract as they create their own hanging kinetic sculptures from lightweight polyester material.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

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Special Education

 

Grade Level

NEW! Make a Fake Cake!

Using the paintings of Wayne Thiebaud as inspiration, students prepare visually delightful, deliciously decorated sculptural cupcakes using a new, voluminous finger paint that spreads like frosting, yet dries to a strong, durable finish.

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K – 8
Special Education

Mehndi Art Gloves

Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Have a Ball! with distorted self-portraits

Observing and reproducing the distortion caused by a concave reflection is the topic of this lesson plan, as students make self-portraits inspired by M.C. Escher's “Hand with Reflecting Globe.” The canvas is a vinyl bouncing ball. Elementary ages can be challenged to create a continuous painting — with no beginning or end — then “Have a Ball!” playing with their own artwork.

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K – 12
Special Education

Fauvism is for the Birds!

Les Fauves (translation: “The Wild Beasts”) were a group of artists whose work was characterized by seemingly wild brush work and strident colors. The colors the Fauves used are also favored by wild birds. Hummingbirds like red, orange and pink. Songbirds prefer colors that mimic trees and bushes. To see which species of birds are attracted to these “beastly” colors, students create a painted, hanging birdfeeder from a stretched canvas or “upcycled” wooden frame.

K – 12
Special Education

Percussive Pods

Rattles are the only musical instrument found throughout the world. While their physical forms vary, their uses are very consistent. Many cultures give infants rattles as a toy. In rituals and ceremonies, rattles are used prominently and often believed to possess supernatural powers. Students explore texture and clay construction as they form a rattle inspired by natural shapes: seed pods, shells, gourds, rain-sticks, etc.

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K – 12
Special Education

Deconstructed Books

There's more to "deconstructing" a book than just altering the pages. In this project, deconstructing means changing the object from a book to a sculpture. The tools are very basic — scissors, glue, paper punches and a desire to experiment!

3 – 12
Special Education

Rhythm in Layers

Low relief sculpture with design in mind. Layer by layer, piece by piece, this three-dimensional collage is assembled with repetitious shapes and elements, illustrating the principles of rhythm, balance and movement.

Watch the Video

3 – 12
Special Education

Art Press Tools

Make your own tools for stamping image impressions, creating raised designs and adding textures to a variety of artworks. They can be pressed into clay prior to firing, polymer clay before baking and air-dry clay while still moist. Tools can also be used for creating patterns in metal foil or making texture rubbings on paper.

K – 12
Special Education

Painted Locket

Over the centuries and across many cultures, lockets have been worn as tiny, portable treasure chests. Students paint the front of a mini canvas and use the back to display a small photo or something with meaning and value.

K – 12
Special Education

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