Thursday, May 28, 2015

Teaching Magic- Abstract Cartoon Shrinky Dinks

There are lot's of teachers that use Shrinky Dinks.  They are the new (old) thing.  It's a bit of a throwback for me.  I remember making Smurf characters as a youth (yep you pegged it, child of the 80's, I'm somewhere in my 30's ;) ).

I brought Shrinky Dinks into my classroom several years ago for a 5th grade group. I finally found a toaster oven at a garage sale and could make these little gems right in my room.  As I moved to the middle school the following year, I thought, why not... let's try this with my 8th grade.  I remember moving into my Middle School classroom.  The assistant principle looked at me with wonder as I hauled in the toaster oven.  He said, I can't wait to see you teach.  That is the moment I knew I wasn't teaching Art, I was teaching Magic.

The 8th graders ate this up!  Their faces were just as pressed to glass of the oven door as my preschoolers were at home.  They couldn't believe how this plastic would wrinkle up, than flatten out.  It got so small... everything they drew was so tiny.  Boys and girls both were amazed. It was a success in the middle school, and I feel it would be in the high school as well.  Check out the 8th grade version (click here).  

This particular project was a smash up of one of my favorite blog's lessons, Shine Brite Zamorano.  I saw his post on Shrinky Dinks recently and was triggered to start the lesson in my classroom.  He was inspired by Phyl over at There's A Dragon in my Art Room and her post with and the featured artist, Nicholas Krushenick.  I loved them, and the artist, but choose to smash up this wrap up lesson with one a successful lesson I have done in the past, also inspired by Don Masse from Shine Brite, Abstract Cartoons.  I wanted to see if this lesson would be as successful, maybe more successful with 5th graders as it was for Kindergarteners. 

The lesson was fun.

Day 1:  Students studied the artwork of Picasso's Cubist work and the work of  Thom Pastrano's abstract cartoons.  They used an iPad to develop several abstract cartoon ideas.  I gave the option to work on one cartoon with several layouts or try different cartoons.  I gave them 1/4 sheet of paper (4X5 inches) and had them draw their final design.

Day 2: The got their 4X5 inch sheet of Shrinky Dink plastic taped onto their design.  I use the Frosted, Ruff and Ready version of the plastic.  The ruffed side up so the colored pencil will stick.  They black sharpie outline the plastic and use colored pencil to add color.  They bring it to me when completed and I punch holes in it.  I use a hole puncher but punch several holes to make a big enough space for the string/ribbon. I would assist in shrinking while students watched. I had a secondary project (Artist Trading Cards) available for students who were one of the first to be done.

Overall this post is about the Magic teachers we are.  Art teachers teach MAGIC and I didn't know how true that was until a recent twitter chat with #K12ArtChat (Side note: If you are not following this twitter chat on Thur. nights, at 8:30, you are missing out, it's a blast).  My tweet... 

Teachers agreed!  We teach the things that make kids want to come to school. We fill curiosity. We make them smile, and want more.  Now come on... who doesn't want to be part of that.  Again I say to you, I love my job! 

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