Dow foam insulation board makes a nice sculpture material....Check for
freebies from contractors. It is easy to cut with a scroll saw. Add
scroll saw and drill to your "wish list" - doesn't hurt to ask....
Local hardware stores that do windows will give you old window screen
- great for sculptures and making molds and deckles for handmade
I also got plenty of FREE plexi-glas for printmaking and other projects.
I often did large paper mache sculptures that were basically FREE for
us to do. Using discarded boxes, newspaper, brown paper toweling, FREE
house paints (miss-mixed paints in some pretty cool colors). Only
expense was masking tape and wall paper paste (add masking tape to you
wish list of items to donate). We did use our acrylics to accent (but
could have gotten by with just the latex house paints).
I haven't had any luck finding the post that had all of the low
cost/free sculpture materials... but I did find this link for some
crafty kind of things that you could stretch into art lessons:
Lots of posts came up when I searched art recycled materials teacherartexchange
I also did sculpture recycled materials teacherartexchange and a lot
of good ideas came up.
A favorite of the list has always been the nylon stocking/wire coat
hanger lesson - wire secured into a scrap piece of wood. Incredible
Art Department has the original lesson plan that started it all.
I have a number of "art on a thread" posts saved and will send them to
you off list if you email me off list for them. I also have a number
of fundraiser ideas saved that I could send to you.
I would definitely include paper making in my middle school
curriculum. You can do some really neat amate style painting using
pulp from brown paper bags. I mixed the bags with some abaca pulp, too
(Abaca is available for Sax? or Dick Blick?). You could make some
molds and deckles - using some free window screen. The molds and
deckles will last you for years. Nearly all art teachers I know invest
a bit of their own money into their program. The government now
expects us to spend some as they allow a deduction for school related