Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kirigami Snowflakes with 6th Grade

Like I mentioned in my 5th grade snowflake fail post....Both 5th and 6th grade just finished up pretty lengthy projects before this, so I wanted to do a little more of a short and sweet/cut and dry project to re-inspire my students who get frustrated with long projects that are a higher skill level. When I saw this project via Pinterest and this post I knew it was the route I wanted to go with my 6th graders...


I Can Statement: I can use Kirigami to create advanced paper snowflakes

Day 1: Started off with an intro to analogous colors, specifically how warm and cool colors are two sets of analogous colors. We also talked about the different moods the colors created. I wanted to get them thinking a little more advanced art classes so we taped our paper to the drawing boards like I did in all my collegiate watercolor classes and the reasoning for doing so. I did a demo of approaching the painting in different ways via a more random approach or patterns and lastly, we talked about the science behind the salt's reaction to the watercolors. All this was essentially to create a background for the snowflakes but great chances for learning opportunities. When they were done with their backgrounds they had the rest of the time to see if they knew how to cut snowflakes and different methods for doing so.

Day 2: Intro to Kirigami and a little history with it. Kirigami is the Japanese art of cutting paper, named from the words "Kiru" (to cut) and "gami" (paper). Its a 17th century art form and considered a true art form in Asian culture. Essentially its Origami but with the key difference cutting and gluing. The 6th were surprised to find out it was originally a wealthy persons art form due to the cost of paper and now it is considered the cheap man's art. I showed them this youtube video I stumbled on and we were all mind blown by it...


Clearly it was what they could work up to if they ended up being freakishly good at cutting paper. I also talked about a paper cut of a horse my sister has and how ridiculously expensive it was but, to consider the work that went into it to make it that cost.

Now when it came time to cut, I wanted these to be awesome, so I did some research and found a really cool way to fold snowflakes and get some incredible results almost every time. I was able to take screen shots and create a packet for my students to look at if they got stuck on their own designs but here is the online version. I wish more would have trusted themselves to do their own designs but they still turned out fabulous...


Day 3: When they were ready to glue their snowflakes down we figured out the best strategy was to use your fingers to spread the glue while your snowflake was on the table, not the art work. Because of the nature of watercolor if enough glue got on the paint it rewetted and got paint on their snowflakes.

 When they were finished they worked together in their choice of groups to created these giant snowflakes to be hung throughout the school with different winter projects. They did these with no instruction from me just instruction packets I put together. I of course stepped in when frustration set in with some groups! You can find the steps basically anywhere if you google giant paper snowflakes. Here is one of many tutorials. 


These are displayed with 5th grades project that you can read more about here.

Jefferson Elementary....





McDill Elementary...





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