Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Project That Really ROCKS!

I'm a little behind with my postings, but I wanted to share this great project I did with my after school "Spring Into Art" class for Mother's Day. Not only is this a great project to show mom you care, it's great for pretty much anytime! I mean, who doesn't like painted rocks, wire sculpture and poetry?!? ;-)

This piece was made for me by my 4th grade son.
He enjoyed this project and liked writing the poem about me
(to read it, scroll down).

I linked this project to nature, of course, and Alexander Calder, since the wire portion reminded me of his stabiles and standing mobiles. Check out this one at his website, www.calder.org:

This project can take off in a variety of directions: you could skip the poem and focus on creating a mobile-like structure where students explore balance, or you could use wood or foam core for the base, or mount the poem or a famous quote to the base…it is really up to you! Although the poetry piece makes a great integrated arts project.

Here are the directions for the version we did…Enjoy!

Rockin' Stabiles

Supplies Needed:

  • A rock the size of a softball, or so…
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brushes, water buckets, paper plate palettes, newspaper
  • Medium gauge copper wire (I think ours was 24 gauge, but check to see what works for you)
  • Wire cutters
  • Poem/Thank You Note Worksheets
  • Pencils
  • Plain white index cards (we used 4"x 6" ones)
  • Fine point Sharpies
  • Pretty colored paper or card stock (optional)
  • Glue Sticks
  • Scissors
  • Craft foam scraps
  • Hole punch

1. Select a nice rock for your base, brush it off and paint it with the acrylics. Let dry.

2. Choose a poem/thank you note worksheet to work with. I downloaded the Diamante template from www.ReadWriteThink.org for the students to use. I encouraged the older students (4th grade) to use those. For the younger students and ones who struggle with writing, I let them write a thank you note to their mom. I provided a template for the thank you note as well, to prompt them a bit. As a mom, either writing is appreciated! 

My son wrote this about me:
Beautiful, Awesome
Cleaning, Cooking, Vacuuming
You are very awesome.
Resting, Eating, Playing
Cool, Calm

3. Once the students were done their writing, I proofread them (although I let some of the creative spelling go sometimes because it was just so darn cute!). Transfer the writing to the index cards using Sharpies to make a nice-looking final copy.

4. Glue the index cards with the final writing onto a pretty piece of paper to create a nice border around the poem.

5. Cut a piece of wire to about 36" long. Wrap the wire around the rock a couple of times and twist the ends. One end can be a spiral to hold the poem you've written, the other end can curl out and around like the arm on Calder's work. You can cut smaller pieces of wire to make a mobile-type structure at this time, but I had students cut a shape from craft foam, punch a hole in it, and hang the shape from the arm.

6. Place the poem/thank you note in the spiral portion of the stabile (you may need to secure the note on the back with a bit of tape).


My other son, who is in first grade, was finding it hard to write that day,
so he painted the rock and created the wire heart sculpture instead.

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