Fifth Grade Wire Sculpture
After my fifth graders finished with their portrait drawings and focusing on the accuracy, I thought they should get an opportunity to be silly and creative with portraiture...and what better way than to give them a funny and silly medium, wire. I used Twisteez wire for this lesson and the kids LOVED it! I couldn't believe how many of them asked me, "Where can I get this stuff?" and "Do they sell this at the store?" I was originally inspired by this image I saw on Dick Blick's website (it was paired with a lesson but I didn't look into that, I was just inspired by the photo)
I started by showing them a finished example and let them guess how it was made, how wires were attached to each other and why they were attached where they were. I passed two finished examples around and encouraged them to examine how things were put together and where. With some extra/practice wire, I let them have an opportunity to demonstrate to their classmates how they thought we should or could make different facial features and how/where they could attach to other wires/features. In the last portion of my introduction to the lesson I told them that they would each get 7 pieces of wire (they didn't have to use all 7, but I wouldn't give them more). The wire was going to be different colors and I was giving it to them randomly so that the last kids getting wire weren't "stuck" with the remaining colors that weren't picked. Once they got their wires, they were to find those marker colors and sketch/plan a face (again, I showed them an example...the one that went with my wire example). I reminded them to connect their lines together so that we didn't have any "floating" eyes or noses, since everything had be attached by wire in the end. They could trade colors with others, cut and bend their wires, and if they wished and had extra wire, they could donate it to friends who wanted more for their sculpture. Lastly, they used their wire and everything we discussed and practiced to try their best to create their face from wire. The kids had a blast making their masks! It was so funny to see all of the ideas come to life and how silly their faces were!