In honor of Earth Day, my 2nd and 3rd grade students participated in a "Recycled Art Challenge" where they had 2 class periods and a ton of different "recycled" materials with which to make something. The project could be 2D or 3D, but most went 3D. We saw lots of collaboration and creativity. I already shared a few photos a few weeks ago (see here) but I wanted to share some more photos of the students' art as well as a list of their favorite materials (at the bottom of this post).
Above we have a pop monster and a collaborative Minnie and Mickey Mouse project. The pop monster (my term) was made of a pop can, 6 bottle caps, a bunch of pop tabs, curling ribbon, tissue paper, and cardboard. Mickey and Minnie were made by two friends. One student made each figure but they worked to make their sculptures match. They used paper towel tubes for the bodies and juice can lids (tons were donated) for the heads. The idea came to them after seeing the red and white polka dotted wrapping paper scraps I brought in. The bow was made from tissue paper and Mickey's shorts were made from scrap paper in the collage center.
There were probably 6 students working on the landscape theme. Some worked with partners and a couple worked individually. They used old file folders as a base and tissue paper, ribbon, can lids, and watercolor wells for the flowers and trees. The nest in the tree on the left was made from leftover shredded newspaper from the Bird Nest lesson I taught 4 years ago. Yes, that's a long time to keep shredded paper, but I bet some of you have held on to random supplies longer than that! :)
Here we have a textured collage and an alligator or crocodile, whichever does not show its teeth with a closed mouth. The alligator/crocodile was made from egg cartons, cardboard, tissue paper, and bottle caps.
An art creature and glass of lemonade... The art creature has colored pencil stub legs and watercolor well eyes. The lemonade gets color from tissue paper.
One of my ASD students is kind of obsessed with computers. He was always asking if I had any computer magazines for collages and wanted to spend any time he could get away with talking about computers. I was not surprised when he whipped this laptop out for his project. He used a piece of drawing paper for the base, bubble wrap for the keyboard, and some foam packing sheets for the screen. He used cereal boxes to make the frame and buttons.
Several students wanted to make rooms. The top left shows a folded paper base with magazine cut out pop-ups. The top right is a bathroom. I like the sink the best. He found one of those flattened blue marbles (my elementary school counselor called them dragon tears) for water and used watercolor wells for all the basins after constructing the walls from cardboard.
Here's another room. The student would have added more details if she hadn't run out of time.
I should have taken a photo of this project from another angle. She spent a lot of time wrapping the different parts in tissue paper. The stem is a paper towel tube and the leaf is cut cardboard.
There were lots of "machine" models made. Lots of cars, tanks, cannons, etc. The student who made the above tank figured out how to make it "shoot" marker caps. When he pushes a new cap through, the front cap shoots out!
Here are my students' Top 10 Favorite Materials for the Recycled Art Challenge
- Cardboard tubes (paper towel and toilet paper)
- Egg cartons
- Can lids (with smooth edges, of course)
- Bottle caps
- Pop tabs
- Tissue paper (saved from holidays and birthdays)
- Cardboard (saved from boxes)
- Bubble wrap (saved from shipments)
- Play-doh lids
- Parts from old watercolor trays- the wells and the "ladders"
Another favorite material that was not exactly recycled, but was leftover from some project and donated, was burlap! We had it in blue, green, yellow, and red. It was really fun for them. I wish I would have thought to bring more fabric scraps from home.