Recycling is really important to me. Honestly, I think it would be difficult to find an art teacher who wouldn't feel the same way. I try to incorporate recycling into many of my projects and I'm particularly proud of this one.
A couple of years ago, I had two big boxes of old computer software CDs. They had been donated over the course of a couple of years and I had no idea what to do with them. Every once in a while I would look for ideas online, but I would usually come away empty handed. In the meantime, I had been doing a project with 4th grade that used paper mosaic pieces to create snowflakes. Last year the light bulb (CFL of course) finally popped on. I would break the CDs and use them to create the mosaics.
The first problem was how to break them. I tried just about everything including smashing them with a hammer and even freezing them to make them more brittle. Nothing worked the way I wanted it to and I finally went to the old standby- the paper cutter. My paper cutter is probably older than me and that means it's awesome. The new paper cutters always disappoint me. They're just not as heavy or sturdy. I simply slice up the CDs on the paper cutter. From there, the kids can either snap them apart into smaller pieces or cut them with scissors. These pieces are glued onto a snowflake that has been cut out and glued onto a piece of silver chip board. They turn out great and end up making a nice piece to take home before winter break.
Find my lesson plan here!