Friday, February 26, 2010

Floppy Disk Flowers

-Understand that art can be made out of anything
-Use recycling to create a work of art

-Pinch Pot: Creating a pot out of a pliable material by pinching with the fingers.

Floppy Discs
Jazz Paint
Paint Brushes
Water/Water Containers
Toaster Oven/Polymer Clay Oven
Crayola Model Magic in a variety of colors
Twisteez Wire
Pony Beads
Potting Soil
Green Construction paper
Black Sharpies

This summer when I entered my new school for the first time and opened one of the desk drawers, I found hundreds of floppy disks. I knew it was a project waiting to happen, but didn't know what project. Our First Annual Art Show has a recycling theme so I knew it was time to get those Floppy Disks out. I cracked them open and pulled out the information disks. The kids got to choose three or four flowers, and they painted them whichever color they wanted with the Jazz paints on newspaper.

Next, I showed the children how to create a pinch pot out of Crayola Model Magic. Because it's an Art Show project I didn't show them that they can create a marbled look with two colors, or mix them to get a secondary color. I was going for simplicity so they got to choose red, yellow, blue, or white for their pot. I stressed making sure that their pot would stand before adding wires (although, I still had to add a cardboard base to a few of them). When the pot was shaped, they needed to add a wire for each flower that they painted.

Before the next class, I melted each disk in the toaster oven. I pushed them into the top of a coffee mug and put them in at about 250 degrees; it only took about ten seconds for each one to melt into the form. When the kids came in, I showed them how to create a leaf on a folded piece of paper, so the fold kept them attached. They were asked to glue zero, one, or two leaves to each wire. We wrapped the wire around a pencil to get a "spring" at the top of each wire and twisted one disk onto the wire. I stressed stopping in the middle of the spring so the flower wouldn't fall all the way down. A pony bead was added, and then the spring was squished shut. When all the flowers were added, they added a bit of potting soil on the top of the pot to make it look like the flowers are actually growing. They turned out adorable!

In addition to circulating the room, completed projects are assessed for the shape of their pot, thoroughness of painting their disks, and craftsmanship.

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