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Re: Favorite project of year (jellyfish)


Date: Wed Jun 05 2002 - 23:10:56 PDT

In a message dated 5/22/2002 4:35:35 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

>>Yes I do and one that my third graders loved. HAve to give credit
to someone on the list and I apologize for forgetting their name...<<

Oh yeah! That was me! The Viking book you described sounds
wonderful ~ what a great idea!
The name of one book that has star book directions in it is "Making
Books that Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist, and Turn" by
Gwen Diehn.
My own favorite project for the year was a kindergarten project that
could be adapted for any elementary age class, I think. The older they
are, the more they can do for themselves (for Ks, be prepared for
daunting prep time for this... parent volunteers would be REALLY nice!)
Kinders were doing an ocean unit in their classroom, and I decided to
augment by having them make jellyfish in art. Didn't have time to find
books, but did get fascinating info about jellyfish and photos from
At Farm & Fleet I found 15 inch milk machine filters (they're kind of
a see-through plastic fiber-y disk, cost about 10 cents each), which
we used liquid watercolor on. (Now wonder if watery tempera would
also work?) After painting with watercolor, we used some dollops of
glitter poster paint and set them on the drying rack.
Now comes the daunting prep... when dry, make 1/4" holes all around
the disks (didn't take long for me to figure out that this would be all
but impossible to complete without the aid of the how-did-I-live-without-
-it-dremel-tool), then folded several at a time to cut 8 slits all around.
Then staple the slits to make a bowl shape (electric stapler in the
staff workroom). Then cut multitudes of crepe paper strips about 1/2"
by 2 feet or so... older kids could do the above by their lonesomes,
I think...
During our second session, kinders selected their crepe paper "tentacle"
colors and strung them through the holes (only had to pull them through
@ 2", and they would stay by themselves... I had thought they could
pull longer strips through 2 holes, kinda like weaving, but the crepe
paper kept breaking, so we did it this way instead). I punched a little
hole at the top of the "bowl" and made a little tie with yarn. They were
very ethereal and "jellyfishy" and the kids learned lots about jellyfish,
our favorite fact was that "jellyfish are not made of jelly and are not
  I found these disks when I was looking for something else, of course.
When I taught preschool, someone had donated some large milk filters
that were thick absorbent paper ... I wonder if they exist anymore?
Someone had also donated some (smaller, coffee filter size) science-lab
type filters ~ they were also thick and "cottony" ~ that I thought I could
find somewhere to buy, but they are amazingly expensive. Anyone know
of a cheap source for these?