Thursday, May 30, 2013

1st Grade Found Object Faces

My first graders had so much fun experimenting with found objects to make faces! After I saw this picture on Pinterest, I decided we needed to do a project with found objects. I already had a lot of random donated supplies that I wasn't quite sure what to do with, I started saving small objects, and sent out a request for "junk, not trash"- any small lightweight object.

On the first day of the lesson, the students painted the background for their faces. (I told the students they could make something else but they all got excited and stuck with faces.) The tempera paint dries really quickly on the boards we were using so most students finished early and went through the "buffet" to start choosing objects to glue down for their faces. Good old Elmer's glue worked great for attaching almost all the objects. A few items, including like pompoms and pipe cleaners, required hot glue. I had those students glue down everything they could then bring their projects to me for a squirt of hot glue. On the second day, students finished creating their faces. I put out oil pastels and yarn that I forgot on the first day.
One kind of object that I contributed was a bunch of sticks! Another object that was really popular- the little bitty pencils that are too small to draw with. I started saving them all in a box when I got tired of students fighting over who got to use the "baby pencils"! I was glad to have a use for them and not have to just throw them away.
I love how all of the faces have distinct personalities. This guy above really cracks me up!

These students got really creative with pipe cleaners! On the left, he wrapped it around milk caps to make glasses. On the right, the student made goggles.


  1. These are cute! What a fun project with many different, but awesome results!

  2. Great results. I've tried something similar but your painted background adds a lot to the final look. I will remember for next time.

  3. Love these bright abstract faces! They look so cool in a group. What a great idea!

  4. These are great!!! Super simple too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Katie,

    Awesome post--and an incredibly useful blog overall. My Dad just wrote an eBook for art teachers--using his Artabet method, which is basically using 6 universal lines to teach art to children (like vowels in language).

    I would love to offer you a free review copy. You can read about the book here:

    Would you like a review copy? You can email me at

  6. Hi Katie!

    I was wondering, what size paper or cardboard did you use for the faces?

    1. I'm not at the right school tocheck for sure but I think they were between 8x10 and 9x12 inches.