Fifth grade students use papier-mâché and kraft paper to work on creating
three-dimensional sea creatures that will hang in the school's library at Brown
Brown Elementary students have focused on creating different forms of three-dimensional sea life in art class as part of a display for the library.
During a recent class, fifth grade students worked in groups on their papier-mâché sea creatures – dolphin, lobster, crab, starfish, swordfish, shark and more with help from art teacher Linda Goedeker.
“Typically, armatures are something that middle school students create, but Matt Phillips, our principal, came to me and said he would like to have artwork on display in the library at Brown that showcased our theme, ‘Dive into Reading.’ I love school-wide projects that focus on the arts and I felt my students were up for the challenge,” said Goedeker.
There are multiple steps to the project – an armature or skeleton is created from wire and cardboard. Next students use newspaper and paste to build the animal’s shape, followed by a layer of brown kraft paper, painting the entire shell white as a primer and finally, the students paint the animal in its natural color or colors. During a recent visit, most students either worked on the first or second step.
Ebony Hill and her group worked on a seahorse.
“We like how their bodies are vertical,” she said. “I think it’s really a good idea to put them in the library so people can see what sea life looks like.”
“I like finding the pattern in the paper,” said classmate Palmer Soberg.
Goedeker reminded the students how to remove excess adhesive, by holding a strip of kraft paper in one hand and using the thumb and forefinger of the other to wipe the excess back into the container.
“We are using a synthetic glue-based wallpaper paste that seems to adhere to the paper better,” she said.
She demonstrated how to apply the paper strips to make the design sturdier and smoother so when students are ready to paint, it will give them a smooth surface. She showed a group of boys working on creating swordfish how to insert a wood ruler to reinforce the cardboard blade on the front of the fish.
Ashley Wren and her group worked on a lobster.
“It was the only thing left so we decided to do it,” she explained. “It’s really fun to make it.”
She said the project reminded her of dining out. “I really love going to Red Lobster. I tried a lobster tail and I liked it.”
Each grade level made different sea life forms using various media - kindergarten and first grade students constructed fish from clay. Second grade will make “stain glass” fish from tissue paper and third grade will create carp kites using paper and paint. Fourth graders will create neon fish also using the papier-mâché method.
After the projects are complete, the next step is to hang the artwork. Goedeker said the goal is to have the finished three-dimensional sea life on display for the school’s fine arts night in April. She expects it will remain there until 2014.
Art teacher Linda Goedeker assists a group of fifth grade students as they
work on creating three-dimensional sea creatures that will hang in the
school's library this spring.