Tuesday, December 17, 2019

4th Grade Calder Inspired Circus Sculptures- 2nd batch!

This year my elementary school chose a circus theme and I started the school year off with circus themed projects to ease into things. I have most of my elementary classes for a whole semester but 4th graders switched for 2nd quarter. I decided since the first group enjoyed the process so much, I would repeat it with the 2nd group, and I'm SO glad I did. The kids blew it out of the water! They were so engaged and wanted to keep collaborating and adding cool features that it ended up taking the bulk of their art classes. Having class on Friday left them short 2 classes due to Thanksgiving break and Christmas break starting this Friday, but I'd rather have them do a really good job on a couple projects than be rushed through more.
We started pretty much the same way- talking about Alexander Calder's work and watching part of one of his circus performances- I didn't have time to read the book "Sandy's Circus" to the students this time but it is a great book that they enjoyed! I borrowed it from my local library but you can find a read aloud video online or order from Amazon.
If you order from my link I may recieve a small commission at no extra cost to you.

After the video, I showed students the tubs of objects available for them to use. We had pipe cleaners for wire, fabric scraps, yarn, beads, buttons, gems, cardboard, and all the scraps found in the collage center and recycling bin.

This was a collaboration between 2 girls- there is a horse rider in the front and trapeze artist hanging in the back.
One of the students made Dumbo complete a feather!
Bird Man
This is the group that discovered the recycling bin
When one group discovered the recycling bin, they maybe went a little overboard. In the next class we talked about transforming objects so that people could understand the new purpose. This group created a tank with someone holding their breath, turned a plastic cup into a stand for the spotlight and operator, made a packing material into a nest for Bird Man, and used a pop can as his perch.

Details of the circus performers
This group became very adept at creating little performers. They would get everything formed and just ask me to hit it with hot glue. I felt more comfortable being the hot glue gun operator. I stationed myself where I could supervise everyone and they just brought pieces to me to glue.

If you have a lot of random "craft" items or found objects taking up cabinet space, this project would be a great way to use some up in a creative way. If you ever want to do wire sculptures with your younger students but don't have the materials to do it safely, pipe cleaners can be an easy substitute!

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