Sunday, January 18, 2015

Animal Faces (2014)

My 7th graders were given the challenge of turning a human face mold into an animal face. Each student began by plastering a human face mask. Based upon the shape of the animal's head the students used newspaper and cardboard to create the relief shapes of the animal on top of the plastered human face. Students used masking tape or hot glue to attach the animal pieces. They then used plaster gauze strips to coat the newspaper and cardboard attaching it to the human face.

I was given almost 100 boxes from the Tech department when they received new computer parts and used them to mount the animal faces to. Students plastered the box and then plastered the animal face to the box creating the look of a taxidermy mount. Students used acrylic paint to finish their project. They had the choice of making their animal look realistic or more cartoon. They were required to paint the sides of the box and then we drilled a hole in the back of the box so it could hand on the wall.

The kids really enjoyed this project and the messiness of the plaster. The variety of all the animal choices made for a fun display in the hallway.

Please email me at if you have questions about this lesson.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


My 7th Graders created original Monster sculptures from plaster. They used newspaper and cardboard for the inside base and then used plaster strips to coat the surface. Students then used acrylic paint or other texture items to finish the body of the Monster. This project took nine- 55 minute classes to complete. I was inspired by this pinterest project.

Inside structure


Huichol Art

My 7th graders learned about the yarn paintings done the Huichol tribe in Mexico. They only had 2 weeks left of the quarter so this took 5- 55 minute classes to finish. I provided the cardboard canvas and yarn. Student created a yarn painting by gluing the yarn onto the surface filling it completely. I originally saw this project on pinterest.

Buggin Out

My 7th Graders created Bug sculptures inspired by an actual insect (or spider). Students found an image of an insect of the Internet to work from. They then used wire to build the armature for their sculpture. Nylon (pantyhose) was stretched over the surface and connected on the bottom side with hot glue or by sewing the pieces together. Students then painted a layer of gesso on the nylon to make it stiff and then painted acrylic paint following the design of their original insect. I created this project in a workshop for Art Teachers 2 years ago. This project took eight 55 minute classes.

Animated House (2012)

My 7th Graders learned about the architecture of Frank Gehry and were challenged to create a thematic house that included unusual feature in the angle of the walls or shape of the house. Students created these out of low fire clay and then glazed them.  I was inspired by this Amaco lesson plan.

Abstract Sculptures

My 7th Graders learned about Aboriginal Art and how the Aboriginees used dots to create their paintings. Students were given a wood block, 2 feet of wire, and nylon to create their abstract sculptures. I pre drilled 2 holes in each wood block for the wire to be placed into. Students twisted the wire to their desired form and then used hot glue to hold the wire in place.

Students then stretched a piece of nylon (it was a knee high pantyhose) over the wire and hot glued the opening on the bottom of the wood block. They then painted a layer of gesso to prime the surface and make the nylon more stiff.

Students then painted the surface in the style of Aboriginal Art focusing on patterns, movements, and variety in the size of dots. I provided them 6 different sized wooden dowels to dot with. I originally saw this project idea on pinterest.


Superheros (2013)

My 8th grade students were given the theme of Superheros for their project. To practice drawing from observation I let them chose a Superhero worksheet and they had to follow the grid to complete the pencil drawing.

Students then had the choice to draw or paint a Superhero that exists or create their own Superhero. I also let students who were comfortable with their artistic abilities work on just a logo of the Superhero. This project took eight- 55 minute classes.