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Second Grade “Papier-Mâché” Decorative Vases

Searching for a three-dimensional art project, I stumbled upon the “Matisse Egg” detailed here.  My second grade students started the project by viewing the Matisse example, predicting how the results were accomplished, and brainstorming possible designs. Their ideas included: bows, hearts (of course), penguins, circles, triangles, stars, surfboards, flowers, leaves, duck bills (that only makes sense if you live in Oregon), fish, peace signs, crosses, and rainbows. I provided scraps of construction paper, crayons, and black Sharpies–instructing students to add designs to their chosen shapes.

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The students used Mod Podge, because: I had a gallon, I didn’t need to measure or mix anything, and I wanted the glossy finish.

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Students cut and colored designs, keeping them in an envelope until they had twenty (more if the design was small). Once they had twenty, they were allowed to Mod Podge. I learned a few strategies along the way:

  • Disposable gloves and brown-bag covered tables made clean-up easy–eliminating hand-washing trips to the bathroom and the potential for an unhappy custodian.
Oregon Duck Bills

Oregon Duck Bills

  • Students needed to glue all pieces during one class period. Although it was easy to put partially completed projects on a fresh balloon, the new pieces did not always adhere to the old.

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  • Inflated balloons should not be saved for later use. I kept a few unused inflated balloons for a different group of second graders the following day. The balloons shriveled before the pieces were completely set, pulling them into tangled messes.
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Surfboards

My second graders loved the results, and I enjoyed observing their delight in a new process.

 

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