Thursday, May 17, 2012
5th Grade Plush Monsters
Aaah, the joys of Pinterest. I've been faithfully pinning away for nearly a year and I'm constantly excited about the wealth of ideas I can find on the site. It seems like many times I'll pin something and it sits, lonely and ignored, on my board. Other ideas hit me and I immediately begin planning a lesson based on the pin. This is one of those lessons.
By the time my students are in 5th grade, they have definitely hit the stage of being self-conscious about their artwork. They have realized that some kids definitely have more of an aptitude toward art. I try to combat that with projects that are not completely tied to pure drawing and painting skills. Block printing, claymation, sewing, etc. are projects that put more emphasis on creativity and less on technical skills.
I'm extremely happy with this plush monster project because it is another one of those projects that nearly every single student was really psyched to work on. Each student designed their own monster before making a simple pattern and cutting the main shape out of felt. I hadn't sewn since 8th grade home-ec. That year, I happened to be in a study hall with my mom, who was a 7th grade teacher. After one day, I decided it was too weird and picked up home-ec! I used all of my 8th grade sewing knowledge to show my students how to sew their monsters together, flip the fabric inside out, stuff them, and finish the sewing. They then added details with craft glue. Since this project was TOTALLY new for me, I was a little concerned about how the finished project would come out. Luckily, this was one of the most successful projects of the entire year. I'll definitely be doing this next year!