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
- Collage paper
- Recycled materials
- 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!
Yours in teaching 🙂