What a fun project! 4th graders kicked off the year by learning all about Spanish Surrealist artist, Joan Miro. 4th graders are already familiar with Picasso, so it was fun to compare and contrast Picasso’s artistic style with Miro’s artistic style.
We studied his color schemes, shapes, and patterns as we played the “Roll a Miro” Dice Game. Students rolled the dice, followed their worksheets, and came up with fun and strange Miro creatures. This is always a fun ice breaker and it frees kids up to draw in a more loose style.
Students painted their creatures in with watercolor paints.
After these sketches and watercolor paintings were done, I distributed metal wire and paper mache mix to each table. I went ahead and cut out 12 inches of wire for each student and distributed the paper mache mix into little bowls.
I demonstrated how to bend the wire into the number 8 (one small loop on top with one larger loop below) and twist the wires shut. Students had a little trouble twisting the ends of their wires together, but I assigned several students to help others and we had them ready to go in no time. After that, we added water to our paper mache mix and stirred it around to make a nice and thick consistency. I demonstrated how to apply the paper mache mix to the wire armatures. Students worked their way around the wire, pinching and pressing paper mache mix directly onto the wire.
We let these dry and said goodbye until next week. Now, this lesson requires quite a bit of prep-time because students need to make stands for their sculptures to be mounted on. You may be able to let students do this part (if you have a really small group) but I went ahead and did the next step on my own time at home. I bought several muffin tin pans and filled each little slot up with rubber cement. When the rubber cement was starting to harden (an hour after pouring it in) I placed 8 inch lines of wire vertically into the rubber cement. The wire stood in place and stuck straight up.
After letting these stands dry overnight, I rinsed warm water on the backside of the muffin tin pans and the hardened stands dropped into my hands. I brought them in for students to paint the next day.
I walked around the room and helped students attach their dried sculptures to their newly painted bases. Once the sculptures were all standing upright, students were free to paint their sculptures and begin to add details. Some chose to use their original watercolor drawings as inspiration while others created a brand new creature.
Once the sculptures were painted, I distributed cardboard, hardware, more wire, buttons, and some other miscellaneous objects I had around the room. I encouraged students to embellish upon their creatures and add more details. Aren’t they crazy fun?
Have a wonderful weekend!