Cows up a Tree

Term: 1 Year: 2008

Cows Up A Tree 2

Cows Up A Tree 1
Cows Up A Tree 3

How To:

As part of the Grade 1/2 integrated unit of ‘The Farm’, students created ‘Cows up a tree’, based on John Kelly’s
‘Cow up a tree’ sculpture in Melbourne Docklands. Students were shown pictures of John Kelly’s sculpture to understand
why and how it was created through a power point presentation (Many years ago in Gippsland, Victoria, a violent flood
swept up herds of cattle and when the water subsided it revealed the carcass of a cow stranded at the top of the

Making the cow

  • We started first by making the cow, using a cardboard cone for the cow’s body. Students covered both ends with
    a small piece of cardboard attaching with masking tape, leaving a gap in the top end for a paddle pop stick (neck).
  • Insert the paddle pop stick way into the body and use hot glue to attach. (This is for the cow’s neck)
  • Cut Modroc into small strips and begin covering body of cow making sure that the pieces of Modroc overlap.
  • Cut 2 paddle pop sticks in and use these for legs. Cover legs completely with Modroc.
  • Attach legs on with hot glue when the Modroc on the body is dry. To help secure the legs, students added strips
    of Modroc over the top each leg.
  • Mould a small amount of Paper Magiclay around the neck and shape a head with horns (we discussed the shape of
    a cows head before creating).
  • As the Paper Magiclay is already white, the students only needed to add black shapes on the cow by using black
    Chromacryl (students referred back to photos of the sculpture to make observations about the shapes painted on
    the cow).

Making the tree

  • Each student brought to school their own stick from their backyards to use as a tree.
  • The tree’s base is an off cut from a plastic water tank manufacture (this company throws these off cuts away).
    These bases have breather tubes and this is where the stick fits into the base.
  • Students painted the stick and tree with a mixture of 2 brown Chromacryls and pressed on with a sponge until
    the area is completely covered with paint.
  • When the tree is dry, cows were glued into place with a hot glue gun upside down in the tree.
  • At the end of this project, students sketched a picture of their cow in their sketch books and then reflected
    on what they created and if they enjoyed the project.

Wandong Primary School
Suitable for Level 2