I am new to the group, and trying to participate after having lurked for
about a week. My attempts to send my first message yesterday were rejected,
so I am trying something new today. I hope it works.
Below is what I had originally tried to send. Several of you have submitted
poinsettia ideas since then, so that suggestion isn't new, of course. It was
nice reinforcement to see that my line of thinking was right there with
several others in the group.
But here's my original message:
Stacie, you've got some great suggestions so far, but I had a few ideas I'd
like to offer, too.
What about doing poinsettias? Perhaps O'Keefe-style close-ups. You could
focus on composition and the media would be flexible--drawing, painting,
collage--whatever you have on hand or wish the kids to work with. You could
bring in some real or artificial ones for the kids to study.
Or what about exploring different kinds of evergreen trees--the kids might
not know that they are not all exactly the same. If you had some good
resources, the kids could do artwork revealing the variety of pine cones,
needles, colors, and tree structures. That might be geting a bit more
involved than you want to for a short-term thing, though.
Another thought would be to have them do paintings--maybe a crayon resist or
mixed media--of either cityscapes or individual houses, with the twist of
having the houses or buildings decked out for the holidays with colored
lights, greenery, bows, etc. Or have them design gingerbread houses.
A final thought--I am new here, and as I looked through the archives to this
time last year, I saw a lot of discussion about Carolina Stars. I made these
with 4th and 5th graders ten years ago. (I've also taught them to high
school students and adults since then, but I started out teaching them to
older elementary kids.) They used them to hang over their stage for their
holiday music program. We made them big out of white posterboard strips and
used mini staplers to fasten them (no waiting for glue to dry). The kids put
glitter designs on the two sides while they were flat (before they were
assembled into the final puffy 3-d form). They looked as much like
snowflakes as stars (even though they have 8 points, not 6). Size-wise, they
were 22 or 28 inches or so...I'd have to go look it up to tell you
accurately. The strips we used were 1" wide.
At the time I didn't even know they were called Carolina Stars. I called
them Folk Art Snowflakes. You could make them out of red strips and add some
yellow balls (i.e. ballled up tissue paper or big beads) to the center, and
they could also look like a poinsettia. I didn't have any instructions on
how to make them, so I figured it out on my own. I had seen some small ones
made out of reed at a craft fair, and just stared, mesmerized until I
unterstood their structure.
After I had taught the lesson successfully to my students, I then presented
the project at my next state conference. It was a great success. I designed
a handout that I like to think was very helpful.
I have made smaller ones out of card stock (5 inches or so), medium ones out
of manila folder material (12 inches), and the big ones out of posterboard.