We tried a new center this trimester called "found object sculptures" using recycled materials. I've been piling up junk in the art storage for 10 years, so it was time to put that stuff to good use. It's always a little stressful to just give the kids random materials and let them go. I think the most important thing is to make sure the students understand the correct way to attach various pieces so the artworks don't fall apart. So far there have been some very creative pieces! This activity is best done at 3rd grade or higher. It would be a great middle/high school project as well.
We started with a teacher example, as usual. Here's a quick time-lapse video that I showed to the kids of my sculpture:
Students then completed a found object sculpture assignment built step-by-step with the teacher. After that, they are free to design and build their own creations. Once finished, they have the option to paint their piece using acrylic paint.
Some student examples:
...and of course...the student who copies the teacher example: