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Lesson Plans

Calder Lessons

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
anne roberts (aroberts)
Mon, 12 Oct 1998 22:25:14 -0400

I have been doing lessons based on Calder since the beginning of
school. I teach k-3. I showed the kids the Calder video American
Masters. It was a little adult in places so I kinda fast forwarded thru
We've been focusing on the fact that he was so enamored with the
circus. The first graders did a lesson with primary colors making their
own clowns using water-soluble crayons. The second graders made clay
circus performers followed by a drawing lesson where they fold the lower
half of a piece of paper into an accordion pleat to represent the
bleachers of the circus. The upper part is the center stage of the
circus. The kids dressed up as clowns, lion tamer, lion, ring master,
strong man etc.
The third graders made simple mobiles from construction paper. They
made a sturdy shape such as a flat hat or hair shape, on a folded piece
of paper so they made 2. Then they cut out features such as eyes, nose,
ears, mouth, mustache, etc. Each shape in pairs . A large loop of
string was placed over the shapes as they are laid out on the table. Put
glue over the shape and suspend the features from string pieces from the
sturdy shape, putting the second shape over the string. I hope my
description is clear. They turned out really great. Some kids made
glasses and put colored cellophane between the glasses layers.
Another lesson that is very loosely inspired by Calder I did with first
grade. He was a sculptor who worked in wire. So they made snake
sculptures from coat hangers and paper mache. They wrapped newspaper
around the wire( I got 2 pieces from 1 coat hanger) and taped it with
masking tape. Its funny to see 6 yr old trying to tear masking tape.
They kinda mangle it until it all gets stuck to itself. They needed
help with that part. But they really did really well with the strips.
They put the paste on the strips with wide bristle brushes, and then
started at on end of the strip and wrapped it around the snake. We
painted them with tempera.
I've yet to do wire sculpture with the 2nd and 3rd graders.