Alien Sculptures

Term: 4 Year: 2016

Last year I was lucky enough to receive many (over 100) glasses cases from an optometrist that was closing down. Always on the look out to extend my budget and recycle materials, I hoarded them away for a rainy day. Once planning began for 2016, I knew I could incorporate them into a sculpture piece for the grade 5/6 Integrated Unit on Space.

After much thought and discussion, I posed the children with a challenge that I thought would encourage creative thinking and the exploration of new materials. I aimed to unlock their imaginations and engage them in making, discussing and evaluating while enjoying the art process.

The grade 5/6 children were asked to create an alien using the limited materials provided.

They could use a glasses case, a cardboard cone and any amount of newspaper and tape.

The children had time to plan and design, then explore and discuss any problems that may arise. They were able to manipulate and experiment with different types of combinations to get a desired effect and enjoyed the chance to play with balance and form. Many obvious and basic shapes were discarded once they knew Modroc plaster bandage was to cover the sturdy construction. The creations escalated and so did the excitement!

Over the five sessions, the children assisted and encouraged each other, came up with solutions to strength problems and delighted in watching their creatures come to life. Simple paper sculpture ideas formed the basis for legs and arms, which built on their previous paper mache skills. Once the plaster was used, the children added paint and collage items to complete their unique sculptures.

On reflection, the children were pleased with their efforts but some wished they could have extended their ideas once they had mastered the skill of applying the plaster fabric. I was thrilled with their flexibility and problem solving skills during the process and proud of their finished work.

The sculptures became a fabulous topic of conversation on display in our corridor and are now being used in our library, enhancing our Monster Book Fair display forEducation Week.

Artwork provided by
Amanda Johnson
Visual Art teacher
Montrose Primary School