There is nothing I love more than an open-ended project! Students thrive when given just a few guiding rules or constraints (as illustrated in this blog post) and then set free to create! I am a 2D artist, therefore…I am a better 2D art teacher (at least that’s how it works for me.) Because of this, I’m always looking for ways to bring more three dimensional art experiences to my students. This assignment fits the bill!
This project is a favorite because it is
a) inexpensive (newspaper!!) and
b) open to a lot of creative interpretation.
I do this with my juniors (Art 3), but I feel like it could be adapted to just about any age level from middle school on up.
Simply put, students are asked to make a sculpture out of newspaper. I give very little direction beyond this except to tell them to do a “paper sculpture” image search to get a little inspiration (no copying, obviously!), show a couple of examples of “relief” paper art pieces (with a mat board base),
and give them links to these videos:
but I make it clear that the options are wide open. Most paper sculptures start out with newspaper, but other kinds of paper may be used also.
This year, because I was tackling paper mache with my 6th graders and the older students noticed, I opened up that possibility for this project also. It was so fun to see students embrace that option. We used the common flour/water/salt recipe and the Elmer's glue/water recipes to create the paper mache.
It is really neat each year to see what students come up with. This year most students were excited about paper mache so they worked in that direction.
No matter what, witnessing creative engagement and problem solving in action is priceless!!