Sunday, January 30, 2011

Magical Worry Dolls

There is nothing more adorable then a lesson that the students really get into and uber excited about! In this case my first graders experienced the legend of Guatemalan worry dolls! I created this lesson when I was a student teacher, working at a small jewelry store on the beach in RI, where I sold pottery, handbags, wind chimes, and assorted trinkets, including Worry Dolls. I loved the concept of worry dolls and thought that it was really a fantastic lesson to teach to the students. In case you are wondering what they are, here fabulous link to explore . Also here is the little story that comes with each set of dolls:

WORRY DOLL LEGEND - There is a legend amongst the Highland Indian villages of Guatemala: If you have a problem, then share it with a worry doll. Before going to bed, tell one worry to each doll, then place them beneath your pillow. Whilst you sleep, the dolls will take your worries away!

At the time I felt that the best way to convey the concept of the worry dolls to the students was through a story book, well I couldn't find one that did that. I wrote a book to go with the lesson and got a friend of mine at the time to illustrate it for me. The students really got a big kick out of this too! They couldn't believe that I wrote a book just for them!

Anyway, here is the rest of the lesson. Students twist pipe cleaners together to form their doll. Rather than wrapping the structure in embroidery floss like the actual dolls, I have the students continue to use pipe cleaners to create clothing on their doll. Pipe cleaners are fairly cheap and easy for students to manipulate. Finally, I pre-made a pouch for the students worry dolls to "sleep" in. I take cut construction paper to be 6 x 12 " and fold it over leaving about an 1- 1.5 at the top. Then I punch holes all around the edge, and put a staple on each side to hold it together for the students. They have to sew yarn around the edges and decorate the pouch creating a pattern- and we talk about what a pattern is. The pouch is for the doll to sleep in, but also for you the teacher to keep track of who's doll is who's. I originally did this with 2nd graders. When I did I have created a worksheet to go along with it to have the students write about their doll, giving it a name, describe what the doll was wearing, and what they're dolls magical powers are. We even had a show and tell portion of the lesson where the students introduced their doll to the class. It was very adorable!
 This doll has a sword! 
 This guy here is skateboarding!        

I recently discovered that there are kits that provide you with materials to make worry dolls as well. Enasco has a kit Also Amazon has a kit that supposedly allows for you to make 100 dolls! Here is the link for that! Here is my 2 cents on the kits: I think that these materials may not be appropriate for the level of 1st and 2nd grade students. I personally think that these younger students may not have the patience or the motor skills to work with embroidery floss! But the pipe cleaners are fantastic!  

 Visit the link above to see more worry dolls and MANY more lessons on my Artsonia page! Thanks for looking!

Be a Fan and Win!

So Pacon is giving away 100 pounds of Tru-Ray construction paper. Just visit their facebook and become a fan to win! But hurry they are picking a winner on February 8th! I think its also worth mentioning at this time that Tru- Ray construction paper is hands down the BEST quality construction paper a teacher could ever use :)  Even though I can't afford it right now, I love it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another Snow Day for MNPS!

So far this year we have had 8.5 snow days! Being from Rhode Island for me normally getting a snow day for having 1" or 2" on the ground wouldn't happen. There they have PLOWS and salt and sand. Here in Nashville, we're lucky if they salt the main roads. Since they really don't have a great way to handle the snow here in Tennessee, we have to wait for the snow to melt. Last week the low temperatures kept the ice frozen on the roads so we had an entire WEEK of snow days! Crazy! So today we had another and this is what i did....

One of the most difficult parts of being an art teacher is finding the time to make our own work. So make good use of your Snow days off friends!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

3rd Grade Circle Weavings

This was the first time I tried this, and after a bit of consulting with friends and different approaches! Part of the Metro art curriculum is a circle weaving. Mr. E. uses cardboard circles- aka pizza rounds for his third graders, and I would have too if I had any money. Mrs. Jahnig uses paper plates, which is what I did. Dollar Tree is a fabulous place for art supplies!!!! I used the paper plates, but simply doubled them up to make them a little more sturdy. Like Mrs. Jahnig, I had my students complete their projects with a design around the border using markers. Thanks guys!!!