I am looking forward to repeating a very successful lesson that I used to
close out the year last June! My unit is titled "Community Connection", and
the lesson is called "Flippin' Out Over Summer". And that is just what we made
- - - FLIP FLOPS!! The flip flops were constructed from foam core and were
decorated with images of summer that represent out city.
Living in a resort city, it was easy for my middle schoolers to brainstorm a
long list of summertime symbols. The extensive list included everything
from bikinis, lighthouses, seahorses, sunglasses, beachballs, dolphins, and
Students chose their three favorite ideas and made thumbnail sketches. The
flip flop sketches were presented to me for final selection. That way I
could encourage a variety of different images.
With ideas in hand, students were ready for flip flop construction. They
began by tracing a flip flop pattern onto foam core. The shoe shape was cut out
with an X-acto knife. I demonstrated the cutting process and showed
students how to position their work close to the edge of the table so that the blade
would cut through the board while being supported by the table. We used
sort of a sawing motion without removing the blade until cutting was complete.
(Glad to report we had no accidents or problems!).
Media choices included painting, colored pencil, or collage. Scraps of
canvas paper were attached to the foamboard for those who wanted to work with
acrylics. Sandal straps were made from strips of canvas paper, roping from
coiled baskets, papers cut with decorative scissors, ric rac and ribbons and
more! The possibilities were limitless, and my middle schooler's creations were
beyond my greatest expectations!!
We gained inspiration from Wyland and the Wyland Whaling Walls. We are
lucky enough to have one in a neighboring city. We also talked about the flip
flop as a symbol of today's pop culture. It has truly become a universal
symbol for summer!
I have some great pictures if anyone is interested. The lesson could be
adapted to most age groups.
(My favorite flip flop had to be a colored pencil drawing of a policeman
writing a ticket to a young man skateboarding on the boardwalk!)
Carolyn in VA. Beach