Sunday, April 18, 2010

end of year ideas

I know it is finally spring. My allergies are full force making my face swell like a bad joke and the kinders, 5th grade and 8th grade students are reaching their end of year regression/naughtiness.

My biggest challenge right now is my random 5th grade class that comes twice a week instead of once a week. They are my only k-5 class in the school to come twice. I have no clue why the schedule was set up that way. Anyway they are busting through my 5th grade projects at a unheard of rate and I can't get them into the middle school projects because I have to save those projects for the next few years. I think I have 15 classes with them till the end of the school year.

My usual answer would be a clay project but they have already done clay three times this year and frankly all of 1st and kinder still needs their chance at clay so any left over clay belongs to them. We already did a big painting unit, and a weaving unit. We have studied watercolor techniques pretty in depth for the age group and have drawn, drawn, drawn. I have used up all my budget for the year. It looks like I may have to give up my room and go onto a cart next year so I have been looking into the supply cabinets to see what we can purge.
I have found:
A roll of wire
lots of construction paper
tissue paper
fun foam
colored sand
small beads (seed beads)
colored chalk
A bag of leather and fabric scraps
plastic pippets
brown paper lunch bags
wall paper paste

so.... I am thinking we will use the construction and tissue paper to make geometric stained glass windows. I have scissors and 12 exact o knives. We can learn about the stained glass work of Andrew Lloyd Wright (2-3 classes)

The roll of wire, beads and fun foam can be used to create a Calder inspired mobile. Then we could look at the art of Keith Herring and sketch each other in poses and make simple wire people in Herring style. I have a fun tunnel box project I can use with Herring. (Up to 5 classes if I really milk the unit)

We have been talking about positive and negative space so it would be easy to explore that idea further by making fun foam prints of insects/bugs, positive on one side, negative on the other (2 classes)

I hate, hate, hate paper machie but we could always take those balloons, newspaper and wallpaper paste and make paper machie jellyfish with yarn tentacles. That would take up a few classes.

I was going to do a big space unit to match up with their 5th grade science unit on space...turns out they have been skipping science to do extra reading and writing instruction. I think they were supposed to be doing science on Fridays when they come to me a second time. So no space unit this year. I will still do a lesson that shows how to turn circles into spheres that we make into planets. That only takes a class or two. That might take us till the end of the year.

That leaves the leather and fabric scraps....they are really thick and our safety scissors can't cut them. Not sure what to do with them. Pippets and lunch a loss on those.

We can always make sand and glue paintings but I feel that would be better with 3rd grade


  1. The end of the year projects are the hardest. They need to be interesting enough to keep their attention, yet cheap enough to use up the last of the supplies on hand. It's a challenge!

  2. End of year is challenging! Go for projects that use styrofoam trays- print making: pop art, Andy Warhol style; fish, animals, Inuit art uses printmaking, print on the tissue paper. If you have construction paper and tempera, go for a Blue Dog or paint paper and do a Frank Stella inspired project. You haven't said anything about perspective. There are great projects (that take time) on creating a room using perspective. I just came across a great site that had the students create a chair with a theme and then write a poem about it. There are so many great sites. Check out Artsonia. Good luck!

  3. The end of the year is a great time to use up all of the teacher school supplies that you want to get rid of. I always clear out my drawers, so I can start with new materials next year!