In Year 6 science, we have a unit called Reef Warriors. The children explore how the growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment. What better way to explore this concept than by looking at the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem! One that is in a constant battle of balance so that the plethora of species that call it home can continue to thrive and survive.
As part of this unit we encourage teachers to recreate the reef with their students using this fun Coral Reef Sculpture Art Idea.
And I thought it was just so fun that I couldn’t just keep it hidden in the unit. It had to be shared! So here it is… the steps we followed to create a Coral Reef Masterpiece!
What You Will Need:
Carboard from boxes
Crayola Model Magic clay
Hot glue gun (optional)
Step 1: To begin this project I cut out the sculpture bases 20cmx10cm (but you can use any sized base really – just remember though, whatever size you do choose to use, the larger the space your students will need to cover with their reef – so you probably don’t want your base to be too large!) and covered them with alfoil (you can get your students to do this part if you like).
Step 2: Then, after showing your students an example of one you have made up prior to class (which I find is best practice when doing art projects to help students see the bigger picture before they begin) have your students use the collage paper and cardstock to experiment with different folding techniques and arrangements on their alfoil base to come up with reef looking structures. Your students may like to try rolling their paper, folding their paper accordion style, and cutting their paper into a fringe and then rolling it. These techniques all work great from my experience. Maybe have them show you their structures before they glue them down but if you don’t have time for this encourage your students to at least place their pieces where they would like them to go before gluing so they can plan their layout.
Step 3: Allow your students to glue their paper structures to the base.
Step 4: Once they have these paper structures in place, your students can now begin using the Model Magic clay (this clay will air dry so is fantastic for simple projects like this). The clay can be used to create additional coral pieces or be used to help hold other things in place like their recycled materials (bottle caps, pipecleaners, straws, etc) that they would like to add to their reef to create different looking coral structures. If your students are feeling creative they may even like to add some animals living among their coral using the materials available to them.
And there you have it! A super simple art idea, that is delightfully open-ended and will result in not only some fantastic art sculptures but also some pretty happy students as well!
Given this a go? Please tell me all about it in the comments below!
There are a lot of different ANZAC Day Wreath ideas out there. This one is budget friendly and offers the opportunity to get your students involved as well!
You will need: – a large piece of foam board (or cardboard from a box) – at least two egg cartons (more if you want more poppies) – acrylic paint: red, black and green – scissors – stanley knife – string – skewer – lead pencil – craft glue – Lest We Forget template – paintbrushes – sponge dabber (optional)
Making your wreath: Make your wreath from foam board or cardboard. 1. This can be done by marking the centre of your cardboard with a pencil. Measure a piece of string from this centre point to the edge of your cardboard (leave a little extra before cutting. And from the centrepoint, move your string around to make sure the string doesn’t leave the cardboard – if it does make it slightly shorter).
2. Tie one end of the string to a skewer and the other to a lead pencil. Stand the skewer on the centrepoint you created earlier and pull your string tight. The pencil should now be facing down towards the cardboard.
3. Keeping the string pulled tight move the pencil around the skewer. Your pencil should be creating a circle on the cardboard.
4. After you have completed this large circle. Draw a smaller circle inside the large one by using the same technique (just make sure you make the string shorter.
5. Use a stanley knife to cut along both circle lines that you have created. You should now have a wreath shape.
Create your poppies. 6. Take your egg cartons and cut away the lid and any extra parts. Leaving you with the egg cup tray (note: don’t through away the extra pieces and lid – you will use those to create your leaves).
7. Use a stanley knife to cut out each individual cup and then use scissors to tidy up any excess from the cups to make them look neater and more uniform.
8. Paint each egg cup with the red paint and then use your sponge dabber (or a paint brush) to paint the centre of each egg cup black.
Create your leaves. 9. Put the poppies aside and take the lids and excess pieces from your egg cartons. Paint the green all over. Leave to dry and then cut out leaf shapes from them.
Bring it all together. 10. Take your cardboard wreath shape and glue the Lest We Forget banner to the bottom of it.
11. Using craft glue, adhere the poppies to the cardboard wreath.
12. Use the craft glue to attach the leaves to the wreath as well.
And you are done! Well done 🙂
Don’t forget to share your wreaths with me on your social media posts! Just use the tag @ridgydidgeresources to grab my attention so I can give your post a little love.
At the beginning of the year, within the first week of school, I like to get something up in the classroom that personalises the classroom for the new cohort of students I am teaching. This usually takes the form of some sort of art, whether it be a self-portrait, name art or some sort of personal goal pop art exercise, these little touches from the students themselves really bring the classroom to life!
So today I thought I would share with you a fun name art exercise which as always can be modified to suit any age level. The way I have designed this particular exercise to share with you today, will allow your students to explore mixing primary colours to make new colours. And for the lower primary grades, it also gives your students a fun way to practise writing their name.
So to get started you will need: – table salt – Edicol dyes (blue, red, yellow) – paintbrushes/pipettes (I prefer paintbrushes for this as the amount of paint added can be better controlled for littlies with a paintbrush but up to you) – craft glue (in squeezy bottles) – A3/A4 cartridge paper (this paper is thicker than normal printer A3 paper, therefore withstanding higher volumes of liquid without tearing) – lead pencils – plastic or baking tray
Here’s how to make your very own salt name art: 1. Give each student an A3/A4 piece of paper. Have them write their name on the piece of paper using their lead pencil and then go over the pencil lines with craft glue – demonstrate squeezing the glue to follow the lines before letting your students loose with the glue!
2. After their name has been fully written with glue, give students some salt to shake over their paper (students will need a lot of salt to ensure it is all covered). Demonstrate to students how to gently lift the paper and tip any excess into a tray at their table (alternatively a teacher or teacher aide may like to assist younger students).
3. Once the excess salt has been removed, introduce your students to the Edicol dyes. Demonstrate the following to the students: dip just the tip of your paintbrush into the dye (they won’t need a lot of paint to make this work). Wipe off any excess on the sides of the dye container. Touch the salt gently with the paintbrush tip. The dye will transfer to the salt and the salt will spread the colour along the letter.
4. Using the same technique as described above, encourage your students to use more of the colours to cover the letters of their name. What do they observe? The colours will mix with the other colours, creating new colours. This should prompt a great discussion about mixing primary colours.
Annd you are done! Well done!! I hope you and your students enjoy decorating your classroom with these masterpieces this year. Don’t forget you can send me photos to share on social media either by tagging me in your Instagram posts @ridgydidgeresources or by sending them to my email: email@example.com
Every year, no matter what grade I teach, I get my students to do a Self-Portrait in the first week of school. This gives me the opportunity to lay art expectations and rules down early in the year and they also make a great display for the Parent Teacher nights that are usually the following week.
This particular Self Portrait is quite simple and although I say it is for Early Primary, really, any grade good give it a go. It explores the mixing of primary colours as well as focusing on choosing colours that make pictures more realistic – students are required to observe themselves (in particular their skin tone) and mix colours or choose a colour that best matches their skin tone. A great way to lead into conversations about appreciating one another’s differences.
I highly recommend doing this art activity alongside Mem Fox’s book Whoever You Are.
Here is what you will need: – acrylic/washable paints (acrylic paints give a richer, bolder colour but are not as easy to wash out of clothes) – black, yellow, white, brown (in various shades), skin colour, tan – A3 cartridge paper (this paper is thicker that the A3 paper you put through your printer – using cartridge paper will help avoid the paper tearing in case of over painting) – Edicol dyes (primary colours only) – Spray bottles of some sort – Pegs – Paintbrushes/Foam brushes – Pool noodle cut into pieces
And here is how to create it with your class this year: 1. Allow your students to spray their piece of paper with the spray bottles filled with edicol dyes. Encourage your students to use a variety of the colours provided. What do they observe? What colours are being made as they mix together?
2. After your student’s spray paintings have dried, provide them with a variety of different skin tone paint colours (also include some black and white so students can mix the colours to suit their needs).
3. Ask your students to observe their skin tone and discuss the colours they will need to make their skin tone. Also discuss the impact of adding white and black to the colours provided (white lightens, black darkens). Allow your students to mix the colours until they are happy they have produced a colour similar to their skin tone. Students can then dip the pool noodle piece into their unique paint colour and print two circles one underneath the other to create a head and body.
4. From the body of their pool noodle print, use paint brushes or foam brushes to paint on arms and legs.
5. Allow your students to add hair and facial features to their portrait to complete their self-portrait.
And there you have a pool noodle self-portrait! Easy hey?! Why don’t you try doing a pool noodle family?
I used to loooove celebrating Christmas in my classroom!! And even though I am not in the classroom anymore I am always on the hunt for great Christmas activities to complete with my daughter at home.
What I always found difficult when looking, was finding Christmas activities that had more of an Australian theme. I used to feel a little weird getting my students to colour in, paint or draw, reindeer, woollen mittens and snow themed pictures when they really had no relevance to our Christmas experience here in Australia.
So I thought I would share with you one of my favourite Australian Christmas art activities, inspired by Rolf Harris’ Six White Boomers.
You will need:
– A3 Cartridge Paper (this paper is thicker than normal A3 paper and will be more resistant to ripping once the Edicol Dyes are added)
– Edicol Dyes (Blue and Orange)
– Oil Pastels (Green and Brown)
– Acrylic Paints (Red, White, Brown, Yellow/Tan)
– Kangaroo template
How to create your own Australian Xmas Masterpiece:
Using your brown oil pastel firstly lightly draw a rough line 2/3 of the way down your A3 paper. This is your horizon line. Then draw the outline of a tree using the same oil pastel. Add small tufts of grass on the ground using the green oil pastel.
Now you can fill in the ground with orange Edicol dye paint and the sky with the blue Edicol dye paint. Be sure not to paint inside the tree. You can paint over the other oil pastel lines though as the oil will resist the dye and show through.
Paint inside the tree layering the different colours (brown, tan and white) to give the tree a textured look).
Cut out the inside of your kangaroo template. Discard the centre of the kangaroo and place the remaining stencil on top of your Australian landscape painting.
Using your sponge, paint the inside of the stencil white.
Remove your stencil to reveal the white kangaroo.
With a thin paintbrush add a red bow around the neck of the kangaroo.
And you are finished!! Well done!
Be sure to grab your free copy of the kangaroo outline from our Free Resource library so you can complete this artwork in your classroom this Christmas season!
Stuck for ideas on how to commemorate this year’s ANZAC Day or Remembrance Day? Why not try this simple art idea in your classroom. It takes very little time to set up and looks extremely effective when displayed in your classroom.
What you will need:
Pool Noodle (cut into smaller pieces about 10cm thick)
A3 cartridge paper (this paper is thicker than normal A3 paper – if you don’t have any on hand, normal A3 paper will be fine, just be careful about how much paint is used so that the paper doesn’t become too soggy)
How to create:
Dip the pool noodle into the red paint. Dab onto the A3 paper. Covering the paper with as many ‘poppies’ as you would like.
Dip the leaf into the green paint and stencil on the outside of the pool noodle ‘poppies’. Stencil as many leaves as you feel is needed.
Using your thumb or other finger, dip it into the black paint. Press the painted finger into the middle of the pool noodle ‘poppies’.