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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ancient Egyptian Mummy Tales

Mummy Tales

Students Write a Biography to go with their Mummy Form

After the Sixth Graders accessorized their mummies, they wrote short stories about them.  Their basic requirement was to give a brief bio describing who the mummy was, what they were interested in and how they died (all while making sense with their accessorized mummy) as they incorporate an Egyptian reference or two.  I am constantly wowed by what they come up with, such creative minds!
Egyptian Mummy Art Lesson Plan with Writing
This particular mummy is accesorized with a monocle, bow tie and cane so his story was about being young and wealthy before dying at the clutches of a crocodile in the Nile River.

Here is another one of my favorites.  Her story was about Mummy Jordan (a bandage filled homage to Michael Jordan).  She even made a free standing basketball hoop and a ball out of a pom pom!
Egyptian Mummy Making Art Lesson Plan

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ancient Egyptian Mummies

Ancient Egyptian Mummies 

Students Create Mummy Forms with Modern Accessories

The Sixth Grade Social Studies teachers are currently covering Egypt and I jumped at the chance to introduce them to various Ancient Egyptian arts.  We started off discussing mummification and the steps and reasoning behind it.  The students loved taking this opportunity to share what they already know about mummies, tombs and Egypt in general (they especially like talking about how Egyptians removed a person's brain when they were to be mummified!).  We then set to make our own mummies with a modern twist.  We build foil body forms and wraped them in muslin that we cut into bandages and dyed various shades of brown with tea.  I got this idea from the Boise Art Museum where they had their own step by step process.  I used my own variation of this lesson, but the basic steps were the same. 
Egyptian Sculpture of Mummy Forms Art Lesson Plan

Step One: Build a Mummy Form from Tin Foil.  Some students used masking tape to hold parts together, others were able to use foil to hold form together

Step Two: (After cutting and tea-dyeing  the bandages) Wrap Mummy with various strips of fabric.  Add some school glue to the ends to keep wrap in place.

But as an art teacher, I couldn't just let our mummies all look the same tea-dyed brown, so for Step Three: we added personality to our mummies by creating accessories! Each student used mixed media to construct whatever accessories they felt necessary to make their mummy stand out. A lot of students made simple accessories like headphones and hats, and others constructed guitars and parachutes for their mummies. The creative juices were flowing and we had some great results. Here are a few of the finished mummies (these all happen to be musically themed, but there are quite a few other styles amongst the students). I'll be sure to post more photos as the kids finish up adding their details.

Mummy Sculpture Forms with Modern Accessories Art Lesson Plan

Tea Dye Troubleshooting: The mummies in the photos above are a lot lighter in color than the one pictured for "Step Two."  That is because I am new to tea dyeing and the class who made these mummies did not leave their bandages in the tea long enough.  I found that I needed to use many more tea bags to get the color right on this particular fabric and the bandages need to soak for a few days in order to really get that antique coloring.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Op Art

Optical Illusions

Students Make Op Art using Rulers, Compasses and Marker

I like to start my students off with projects that refresh them on basic motor skills as well as introducing them to the Elements and Principles of Art and Design.  Our current project focuses on the use of a ruler and a compass to give the illusion of depth and form through the use of space and perspective.  In short, we're creating our own Optical Illusions (or Op Art, if you will). 

We started off by talking about space and perspective and how you can tell if something is in the foreground, middleground or background in two-dimensional artwork. We talked mainly about size, shading and location of objects in the frame. Then we set to give our own illusion of form (something three-dimensional) through the use of sizing, spacing and varying angles and curve of line. We worked together to create a one point perspective drawing in a manner that we would still be able to achieve our Op Art style.  The students chose whether they wanted to color them in with marker or colored pencil and started by coloring their background (pictured above).  We then worked on coloring our "forms" or "globes/spheres" to keep with the illusion.  For a quickly drawn step by step tutorial of how we draw them, click here.
As you can see below, the result is mesmerizing!
Drawing Optical Illusions Lesson Plan