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Lesson Plans

Re: Big and Messy Art Ideas: Complied List

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Linda Kelty (lckelty)
Mon, 20 Apr 2099 23:04:06 -0400

MaryAnn & all contributors to this list. I know there was some controversy
about the publication of these ideas and everyone is entitled to their
opinion. My opinion is that sharing is what teaching is really all about
because we help each other which helps our students. With that end in mind,
is there any one who objects to my sending this to the middle school list?
Anyone want to share their favorite art appreciation lessons or units? I
had some real fun with that at the elementary level, but most of the things
I've tried in middle school have only had marginal success. Do you think
perhaps we're developing curriculum here? Linda K. in Iowa
-----Original Message-----
From: MaryAnn Kohl <maryann>
To: Artsednet Artsednet <>
Date: Tuesday, April 20, 1999 4:06 PM
Subject: Big and Messy Art Ideas: Complied List

>ArtsEdnet Educators:
> Here are the big and messy ideas I have been compiling for you. (By
the way, none of them will be in any book I write, and never were intended
for that.) I think it's a fun art topic to think about and, so --- here
they are. They are grouped by art materials or styles, such as clay,
collage, paint, etc. Thanks to all the people who sent them in. I hope you
can use them in your classrooms. I believe I have everyone's permission to
post these back to the list. Linda and Bob, you outdid yourselves!!
>Hope you enjoy them.
> MaryAnn Kohl
> maryann
>Clay anything is messy...
>Clay totems are fun and messy ...
> Bob, Robert Nickelson. Nbob
>Collage can be messy...
> Bob, Robert Nickelson, NBob
>Would a sidewalk mural of 3 classes of 2nd graders surrounding a school
count? Discussion centered on the Parisian sidewalk artists and how art can
be temporary (ephemeral). We used chalk most of the time, but one year we
used 2" flat brushes, 5 gal. water buckets and tempera block sets. That
lasted to the following fall on the concrete walls, sidewalks, etc. We used
the theme of rainbows to go with a unit they were doing in the classroom.
That was neat because the kids created rainbows of people, flowers, etc..
That was their idea, not mine, and it was a real kick to watch them
informally group themselves and decide their approach. We just briefly
discussed primary and secondary color mixing before that.
> Linda Kelty, IAlckelty
>"The Longest Caterpillar in the World" , Eric Carle style, in colored chalk
on the paved part of the schoolyard. Hundreds of colored circles and
zillions of little legs. Can make it part of a caterpillar unit, good for
grade 1.
> Wendy Manning, melloyello_
>Outdoor activity (wear aprons or even a plastic poncho!) to make tie dye
t-shirts for primary color theory.
> Linda Kelty, lckelty
>This year, we have made steel drums out of 55 and 30-gallon oil drums. The
storage problems for 17 of these babies is pretty awesome. Also, they have
been not only messy (we did all of the painting and scraping outdoors, .in
Wisconsin, .in the winter) but also very noisy!!!! The messiest but most fun
part was the winter day at our school forest when we hauled all the kids and
all the drums out and had a HUGE bonfire to temper the metal. We heated
them, then threw them in the snow, using sticks. We've been working on them
since October...are now writing music, making costumes, etc. for our
Carnival celebration. This has been a joint project for art, tech ed and
music. Some of the drums have up to 26 separate notes!
> Mcracker Marcia Thompson, West Salem, WI
> Instruments
>Squirt a big blob of shaving cream on a table to play in. Add some popsicle
sticks (great for writing/ making designs).
> Victoria, vbrit
> Paint
>Tape a huge piece of butcher paper to a wall (outside?) and let the kids
splatter paint it, use coffee cans (or other large round things) to roll the
paint onto the paper, or use BIG sponges to sponge paint.
> Victoria, vbrit
> Paint
>I once saw a magazine article about letting kids decorate their own rooms.
The idea was to empty the room out, paint it a solid color, cover the floor,
then let the kids go at it with water guns filled with thinned down wall
> Betty Bowen,
>My classroom table tops are made of a material that are easy to clean - and
they make a great surface for monotype prints - The students paint on the
top of the tables - then place paper on top of the images and rub - press
the paper down into the paint. Peel up. Dry.
> Bob, Robert Nickelson, NBob
> Paint
>One point perspective project, that is larger than the normal: tape white
butcher paper together to create a drawing surface that is 20' x 20'
students select the location for the vanishing point - tape several 12' long
pieces of string to the vanishing point to use as rulers .Several
possibilities are to create a design with 3D boxes that go back to the v.p.
or create a 1 point interior view of a room... After the students have
finished the perspective drawing they can paint it with tempera paint or
glue textured surfaces on the negative spaces... turn it into a collage
super sized...
> Bob, Robert Nickelson, NBob
>Cover the table with clear plastic wrap, taping it down at both ends. Place
paint to share in the middle, using primary colors. With three brushes and
three Q-tips, paint on the clear plastic wrap. Many children paint flowers,
rainbows or whatever came to mind. Without pressing down, slip a paper onto
the painted surface, and then slowly and carefully peel up the paper. Then
dry. Often there are big areas of beautiful colors running together and
wonderful blending pictures.
>tempera paints or water colors (temperas work best)
>brushes and Q-tips for each color and child
>clear plastic wrap, Plexiglas, or any smooth and shiny surface that can by
washed off or thrown away. (cookie sheet, table top, framed window)
>art shirts/aprons
> Dorothy Blomstrom, Dot, BLOOMDOT
>One of my messiest projects is crazy painting. I do this with my prek and
elem. children they love it. We explore a variety of objects, found or
constructed that can be used to paint with. The best by far are rubber
gloves filled with paint that have had holes poked in the fingertips. Sort
of like milking a cow! Stand back and squirt all over a large piece of
butcher paper.
> Heather from GA, Sages7
>Foot prints on large paper with lil tykes.
> Jeanne Baas, WI wjbaas
>paint donated and painted all of the playground equipment in rainbows.
THAT was messy, fun, exhilarating, stressful, rewarding. Thank heaven for
the teachers who stayed, giving up their prep time, the parents who
volunteered to help and the triple art time of 3 combined classes. The
custodian pulled a hose around for us, we had 5-gallon buckets of water and
parents who traded off brush washing and paint dispersal. Butter tubs gave
each child a color to use, not enough to create a huge mess if spilled, and
could be reused. Naturally all kids were told to wear throwaway clothes.
> Linda Kelty, IAlckelty
>Fill a stocking with sand, dipping it in paint and having the kids stand at
a height so they got a good SPLOT!
>Use fly swatters, and reading Black Fly
> Marcie Fraade, Fraade paint
>alternative "paintbrushes. Paint with a lawn seed spreader! Imagine colors
on snow, the street, on a LONG roll of paper, etc. (use BioColors).
> Rebecca L. Fox, VA
>My center uses clean fly swatters with paint. They put a piece of white
paper on the wall and the children use the fly swatters and have a ball.
There is newspaper on the floor so that we don't have a mess to clean up
after the children are done. Also, we use kitchen utensils the same way.
Also I have seen one classroom use spray bottles. Used
>watercolor paint.
> Yvonne E. Stehle, ystehle Paint
>papier-mache dinosaurs----(almost life size to small dinosaurs).
>papier-mache whales, dolphins, sharks
>totem poles made from large tubes and boxes stacked up high
> DeDeRuss
>6-1/2 foot tall papier-mache mummy with a chicken wire frame. Papier-mache
over it, paint with acrylic paint. We made a 15-ft tall inflatable pyramid
and an 8 foot carved sarcophagus out of the blue Styrofoam board. It was all
> Rosikins
>We made a giant croquet set, mallets that were 6-feet long, 6-ft tall
wickets. 3-ft diameter balls, then played a game of croquet with it, it was
a blast. It was our Youth Art month project.
>face masks using plaster gauze (used for casting broken limbs... add
texture, color, feathers ... This one is tons of fun.
> Robert Nickelson, Bob,
>Create armatures that are figurative dances - then cover these with the
plaster gauze - My students have created aliens ... almost as tall as they
are that are self supporting.
> Robert Nickelson, Bob,
>Installation in an entire room.
> Reatha, RWilk85411
>With empty cereal boxes, tissue boxes, big cardboard boxes from packages,
etc build a city. Or build BIG creatures (monsters, dinosaurs, etc.)
> Victoria vbrit
>I did a project with all my students, grades K through 5, where we made a
giant anaconda. It was approximately 24 feet long and about a foot in
diameter at the large end. We made an armature from chicken wire and then
strung it from the ceiling. All the classes came in during their art time
and papier- mached it. When it was dry, they all helped paint it. It hung
from the ceiling in the entrance of our school during the time we were doing
a school-wide project on rain forests.
> Carol Liebergen, rllieber
>Giant inflatable mazes. Get roll ends of colored plastic sheeting (like
they use in heavy-duty garbage bags - comes in bright colors). cut and tape
together to make rooms connected by tunnels. add a couple of "umbilical
cords" attached to fans to inflate. the kids love this project. I do this
outside in nice weather.
> linda in michigan lindacharlie, lindacharlie
>One year I had students save their recyclable materials from home and we
filled the gym. There were tables set up to sew, wire or glue things
together. Parents manned stations to help students. This was kindergarten
to second grade.
> Linda Kelty, lckelty
>Make life sizes sculptures of their sixth grade teachers. There were 10 of
them as I remember. To store them, we made a corral in the middle of the
art room and put them in the corral every night. When they were finished we
had an exhibit and then gave the individual sculptures to the teachers! They
were papier-mache with newspaper and some wire for armatures - could have
been some chicken wire in some of them too. It has been a few years and my
memory is not what it once was. It was great fun, but I nearly lost my best
friend, who also happened to share my room that year because of the mess and
the storage problems. My favorite was the shop teacher who sat on the
>edge of a table, holding a tape measure and a saw!
> Mcracker, Marcia Thompson, West Salem, WI
> Sculpture
>I have my classes make a free standing abstract sculpture that is 9 feet
++ out of plywood or something cheaper -- cut into interesting long
shapes -- cut interlocking grooves in each sheet and join together --
grooves like the ones in those cheap book shelves - then cover the
surfaces with other wood and or textured found objects -- paint... hot
glue gun, drill, skill saw... requires lots of supervision -- but any age
works -- we had one such sculpture displayed outside for over a year --
sort of a cross between a Nevelson and a Stella looking work of art.
> Robert Nickelson, Bob, NBob
>I also had every student in my school help build a sculpture out of rolled
newspaper tubes, we did it outside and kids loved it.
> Rosikins
>Not really an art project more of a study in texture. Lots of wonderful
parents helped do the cleaning. Outdoor activity. Use different media for
different "feels - textures". Paint, clay, sawdust, sand, mud, seaweed,
flour (colored) etc. - even Jell-O, pudding, and peanut butter. All very
gooey but fun.
> Jeanne Baas, WI wjbaas
>Texture/ gooey
>MaryAnn F. Kohl (WA)