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Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!

Monday, January 4, 2016

It's all Greek to me! 6th Grade Greek Coins

This project is fast and fun and could also be used to explore ancient Rome or modern-day civilizations such as a specific state or country. For this project we used metal tooling foil available from Blick.com, but another teacher I know uses foil paper like this for her elementary students (a less expensive and less dangerous alternative since tooling metal can be a bit sharp for little fingers). I usually buy my tooling foil from Blick by the roll, but didn't see it on their site at this time. If you can afford the tooling metal, I recommend it and use it elsewhere  on my site for a variety of other projects. Students love it!

Finished coin designs were mounted onto mat board,
this helps to add stability to the flimsy metal and makes the pieces look more finished
(I referred to them as their "coin collections.").

Students researched Greek coins and looked at different artifacts and inspiration from ancient Greece and needed to come up with five coin designs. One design needed to have a plant or tree, one design needed to include a face or figure, and the third needed to depict a building. The other two designs were their choice. It is helpful to look at examples of real coins and note that they often include other information such as monetary value, country of origin, and possibly a slogan or motto.

Once the students were happy with their designs they could tool them onto the metal using a dull pencil--this creates a nice relief design. Finished coins were painted with watered-down tempera paint, and once dry, scrubbed lightly with steel wool to create an antique look and help define their designs.

The students had fun designing their own money and learned a great deal about ancient Greece at the same time! ENJOY!

Here's part of the display featuring our finished "coin collections."

What is it with spaceships?!
This student decided to create two modern designs that were not "antiqued"
and a more traditional design. While the students needed to create three designs
inspired by ancient Greece, their final three design choices were up to them.

I really like the "I love art" commemorative coin on the right!

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