I made paper mache' sea turtles with my first graders and I've learned you
have to be very organized and strict on how they do the process. I put a
small bowl of art glue for every two students. They paper mached a small
styrofoam as the shell and added a plain paper towel as the top layer.
The next week, I hot glued the pre-cut legs on. Last year, my first try at
this project, the nightmare was getting them to tape the cardboard legs on!
First graders and tape don't mix!
We use Oaxacan sculpture as inspiration. I ordered a real sea turtle from
Crystal catalog. The cool thing was, I found an article in Arts and
Activities featuring the artist that made "our " turtle. The kids were so
excited. I made a powerpoint presentation on the sculpture and used the ELMO
camera to demonstrate the process. Took three weeks, but worth the effort.
My first year, I tried to make paper mache dinosaurs with second graders.
They ended up in the dumpster! We used foil instead to create our sculptures.