As grade three found out when they focused on the concept of change whilst studying their unit of inquiry about 'Sharing the Planet.'
What it is made out off?
Are we making these?
Is it liquid?
Is the foam in a vacuum?
How do you use expandable foam?
Why would you want to use expandable foam to make art?
Does it dry fast or slow?
How does it feel like when it is wet?
How can we make the shape of an animal on the card?
Students worked in a group of three or four. They all contributed different information to one google document.
1. Find and paste 2 images of the animal in its natural ecosystem
2. Write two sentences about why they are endangered
3. Find and paste two images of the products made from this animal.
We watched some fairly harrowing videos of what is happening to bird life and marine animals who starve to death due to their bodies being so full of plastic that they are unable to digest food. (For older children)
Selecting an outline of the animal they wished to create
Using the overhead projector and tracing the image onto thick card
Cutting out the outline of the animal
Squirting (with teacher hand quidance) the foam onto the card
When dry decorating the animal using, paint, collage and junk materials.
Foam is ideal for this as it is solid enough to paint yet soft so the plastic and paper could just be pushed into the dry foam.
I was worried because by the end of the first class decorating the animals there was just a lot of paint being splashed about. However by the end of the second class I could really see their knowledge and thinking developing in front of my eyes. Once they realized they could use any material push and pull and poke to demonstrate their understanding. The imagination and creativity of the students blew me away.
Mission accomplished - Art is not just beautiful - it can be used to send a powerful message.