Monday, December 21, 2015

4th Grade Recycled CD Snowflakes

Another Ohio winter, another way to incorporate more recycling into my curriculum. If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you'll know I'm pretty opposed to holiday themed projects. Holiday crafts can happen in the regular classroom. We learn about art in my room. This lesson revolves around a big part of winter- snowflakes!

About 5 years ago, a box of old software CDs was dumped in my room. You know, somebody has something that they don't really want to throw away, so they give it to the art teacher. "I had these and I thought of you!" they say. Inwardly, I'm figuring out where I can store these newly found "treasures" or how I can surreptitiously get rid of them. 

Luckily, I was able to figure out something to do with the CDs. Good thing, too. I've got enough to last me into the next decade. I had previously done a paper mosaic snowflake geometry project with my 4th graders. Looking back, it was pretty terrible. I suppose I could have switched a few things around and improved it, but I came up with this instead. 

Students study mosaic artwork as well as the natural geometry of snowflakes. I show them how to fold and cut a six sided snowflake. After that, students simply mount the snowflake on either a gold or silver poster board, trim the board, and add CD shards. The best snowflakes tend to be the ones in which students carefully match the shape of CD pieces to the design of the snowflake. The outcome can be extraordinarily beautiful. 

**Helpful hint- no amount of pounding on a CD with a hammer will break a CD into little pieces. I use my paper cutter to slice the CDs into strips which easily break apart into smaller pieces for students to use. 

Click here to download my full lesson plan!


Laura Kim said...

These are gorgeous!

Christina Torres said...

What do you have them write on the artist statement?

Zach Stoller said...

I typically have some self reflection because it matches up with my standards. I've changed my artist statements quite a bit in the past year from being more about vocab to having students write more about their personal experiences making the art. I'm trying to use more in-depth questioning when I'm able to. That being said, I didn't even have students write artist statements for this project this year. I try to balance it out.