Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spaghetti Textured Painting

One of the classes I work with was learning about Italy.  I combined spaghetti and the Italian flag.  Here is what we did.

Cook the spaghetti the night before.  Add a little oil to keep it from sticking.  Refrigerate overnight.  I read The Longest Noodle before doing the activity.  Have the kids put a handful of spaghetti into two baggies (2 handfuls total).  Add one color of paint per bag.  Shake the bag to mix the paint and pasta.  Add more paint if necessary.  Put an 11 by 17 piece of heavy paper into the bottom of paper box top. Shake the box top or use utensils to move the spaghetti around.  Dump the excess spaghetti into the trash.  Some may stay attached but that is okay.  It adds texture to the finished product.  You could also add glitter to the paint.  Glow in the dark paint might be fun too.

Wax Paper Stained Glass for the Light Box

I have a few students who benefit from light box activities.  This activity can be created on the light box.  After it dries, it can be used with the light box.

Draw a simple shape onto a piece of wax paper with a black permanent marker.  If the student can rip tissue paper, have him rip the paper into small pieces.  You can do this in advance and cut the paper into small squares. Spread enough glue to cover the shape.  Place the tissue paper pieces onto the shape.  It doesn't matter if you go over the edges because the shape will be cut out with scissors.  When the shape is completely covered with a single layer, cover the paper with glue.  I used thin lines because when you press the project together, the glue will spread.  Place another piece of wax paper on top of the glue.  Smooth the paper.  Allow the project to dry over night.  Cut out the project.

Here is a picture of the butterfly that I did with one group.  I also made an earth.  The outlines can be changed to match the curriculum.  (pyramid-Egypt, shapes-math, etc.)

Background Binder

Many students benefit from different backgrounds when presenting choices.  I created this binder for a specials teacher that works with many students.  She uses the shiny backgrounds when working with students who only visually attend to shiny things.  I included a black background and a few others.  I added the Velcro dots to the outside of the binder so that the backgrounds can easily slide into the binder.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Patriotic Art

I paired this activity with a book about the American Flag. We talked about the attributes of the American Flag (stars, stripes, red, blue, white).

Preparation for the activity (This can be done with the students if you have enough time):
Use painters tape to make random lines on the canvas or poster board. (Canvas works better than poster board when you remove the tape and stickers)
Add some star shaped stickers. ( I made the stickers a little less sticky by sticking them to a fuzzy piece of material first.)

My students used sponge brushes to paint on the red and blue paint. Their job was to completely cover the white. I added glitter to the paint for a little sparkle.

After the activity:
Let the paint dry completely, then carefully remove the tape and the stickers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sensory Sundial

I work with a group of students who are studying Ancient Rome.  The Ancient Romans told time using a sundial or a water clock.  I chose to adapt the sundial.  
Air-dry clay
small paper plates
small rocks
gold glitter (of course)
small craft sticks

Push the clay to the edges of the plate.  It does not need to be really thick.  Make a lump in the middle for the stick.  Sprinkle gold glitter on the clay.  Push the glitter into the clay.  Push small rocks around the edges of the clay.  Use glue to add glitter to the craft stick.  Push craft stick in at an angle.  Once the clay dries (at least overnight), tear away the paper plate.

After we finished the sundials, I turned off the lights and used a flashlight to demonstrate how the sundial was used to tell time.  Our sundials were not accurate.

Sensory Valentine

Valentine's day is a great day for a messy sensory project.  My students made Valentines.  I started with a white heart and coated it with glue.  The students added fake rose petals, tinsel, textured shapes, and glittery foam hearts.  We glued the hearts to a piece of poster board.

Most of the materials were purchased at the Dollar Tree.  I would suggest cutting the tinsel into shorter pieces.  It was really long.

Cardinal Sensory Activity

Since we didn't get any measurable snow in January, I decided to incorporate snow into my sensory activity.  I gave each student a picture of a cardinal glued onto a piece of construction paper.  The students added snow (shredded white paper that I ran through a crosscut shredder), pipe cleaner legs, and feathers.  I chose this activity because our state bird is the cardinal, and the teacher was doing a unit on winter animals.

I found my feathers after Christmas at Michael's.  The bag came with red, green, and white feathers.  All I had to do was separate them.  

When I was cleaning out my basement, I found an old box of tractor feed paper.  I ripped off a few pages and ran it through my shredder while I got ready for work.  It was a lot faster than shredding one sheet at a time.