This was a 3 week recycled arts course, and my last 3 classes at P.S. 154. I will really miss this groups of children and this wonderful school community! However life and work are transplanting me in Washington D.C. for a summer of art at Glen Echo Park.
We began our first class with a discussion about what recycling means to us. Do we recycle at home? What types of things can we recycle? Has anyone ever done anything cool with a cardboard box? Then we read Mary Had a Little Ham, by Margie Palatini, and looked at how Mary and her pig had turned a cardboard box into a stage.
For our first art project I had laid out a pile of old students drawing on scraps of paper that I had been saving and a few bottle of paint in all different colors, each having only a little bit left. We puzzled over what to do with these materials (I was open to suggestions) and then decided how we were going to recycle these materials. Everyone was going to do a painting on the back of the old drawings. But since there was such little paint in each container, one boy suggested that we, “mix it all together!” And so we did. I wasn’t expecting that but the goopy brownish black on the multi-colored construction paper came out really nice!
Two years ago, I taught just 3D. I had my third graders do sculptures from left over paper, black and white. I was very pleased with just some ripping, folding and cerated scissors, just what they could come up with in a two day class. My favorite project, and theirs too, was the broken toy sculptures. I actually got the idea from Sid, the demented kid in Toy Story. But what the kids came up with was exciting and wonderful. They really redefined things in color and texture! Recycling is a lot of fun!