Monday, June 25, 2012

Falling Into the Lost & Found

After reading Lost & Found, from our Houghton Mifflin Reading series, my 3rd graders drew pictures of themselves falling into the lost & found.  The idea was inspired by the awesome watercolors displayed in the blog Oodles of Art , Falling Back in Space Portraits.

  Our crayon drawings were done during the first few weeks of school and I was amazed at how hard the class worked on their individual projects.  The paper was quite large, 18"x24".  Often kids balk at coloring  even an 8 1/2"x 11" sheet of paper, but everyone was eager to work on this.  Kids traced their hands & feet and I cut out an oval they could trace to determine the size of the face.

  It would be cute to have "stuff"dumped in the lost & found in the background, but they were ready to be finished by the time they got to this part. 

Love the hair!

The boys seemed to think that lips looked feminine & preferred to draw big empty holes for mouths

You sometimes have that one child who has skills way beyond his/her years!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Plaster Mask Making

This popular 3rd grade craft has been recreated annually at our school for longer than I have been there (20 years).  It requires lots of parent helpers, but it is an activity that parents like to participate in and kids like to do.  Students that I taught years ago, who visit while in middle school or high school, tell me that they still have their mask hanging in their room.

This craft was introduced by Debi Lyon, and after she left, carried on by Sylvia Leong, who thankfully recorded the steps for all of us to follow.

Pull hair away from face & apply a generous layer of Vaseline to student's face to protect skin & help the finished mask to slide off.  Apply a plaster bandage diagonally over bridge of nose, use a 2nd bandage in the opposite direction making an"x".  Next, cover the upper lip, then the chin and lower forehead.


Continue applying strips around the face filling in empty space.  When the 1st layer is finished, add 2 more layers.

Allow 12 - 15 minutes drying time before attempting removal.  Kids need to refrain from "making faces" while the mask dries.  When plaster is dry to touch & appears to be lifting from skin, gently loosen at edges & lift off. 

Finished masks

I was disappointed last year, my 1st try, that many of the masks turned out a little "muddy" after they were painted.  Kids did not let one paint dry before starting in on the next.  
As a remedy, this year I had each student divide his/her mask into 2 sections with masking tape, then choose 2 colors to paint with.

Paint mask with acrylics.  Pull off the tape after the paint has dried.

This time our masks came out quite geometric with nice clean colors.

Add feathers, jewels, and ribbons.  Voila!