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To begin this lesson, Ms. Nemes read the book Rulers of the Playground, by Joseph Kuefler, about kids who imagine the playground as their own kingdom. The book features great illustrations of slides, tunnels, swings, maps, and other play equipment.

Next kindergarteners were asked, “If you could create your own kingdom, what would it look like?” and students sketched their ideas.

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After creating a sketch, students used recycled materials, paper, tape and drawing materials to create a 3D version of their kingdom. Their first step was to create a base for their kingdom by covering a piece of cardboard with paper to mimic sand, water, grass, dirt or whatever students wanted on the ground of their kingdom. Ms. Nemes demonstrated how to measure paper with pencil and then cut with scissors so that it was the right size.

Next, students transformed recycled materials into buildings, towers, trees and more! They also added details like windows, waves, and animals to make their sculpture more interesting. Students had a blast with this project and I’m so impressed with the results!

The Jewelry
“It’s a jewelry castle made out of stuff that’s been used. It had a big wave and king and queen found it. They live here.”
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Star Shooter
“It shoots every star to space and then it likes to eat something, but it shoots every second so it will shoot every star. And then it will eat again. It eats grass. And then it shoots, shoots, shoots!”
Castle
“My castle has two people. They are picking flowers. The flowers are red and yellow.”
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Rapunzel in a Tower
“I made a tower with Rapunzel in it. I put Rapunzel and a flower and a braid. I used pink tape to decorate it all pink and pretty”

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Third graders learned different ways of transforming a pinch pot into a container. After experimenting with plasticine, students created an animal container using clay. After the sculptures were fired, students painted them with tempera paint.

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Before giving students “real clay,” I like to have them practice pinching, rolling and pressing using modeling clay. Kindergarteners came up with a lot of great ways to build and made animals, plants, bridges, and many other sculptures. W in KN came up with this delicious idea!

IMG_9952Kindergarteners are working together to create Line Sculptures! As inspiration, I showed students a Power Point of sculptures* that have lines and we discussed the various colors and materials the sculptures are made out of. Students worked in pairs to create their sculptures. They began by cutting tabs into a cardboard tube and attaching it to a cardboard base with tape. Then created lines by twisting, bending, folding, and curling paper and wire and attaching it with tape. I planned two days for this project, but the students are so excited about it that I’m giving them an extra day to work on it. 

*I found a great list of contemporary sculptors that use lines on this blog.

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Inspired by a former colleague of mine, I challenged my eighth graders to create a mixed-media shoe sculpture, using appropriate construction techniques, that reveals something unique about them. Students started by creating an armature and then used mixed-media materials to enhance their designs. I’m so impressed with their problem solving, persistence and final products!