Noilly Prattle: Call Me Mr. B. – Ten

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Call Me Mr. B. – Ten

Grade 3

Paper Cone Owl
(from 2D to 3D)

     The purpose of this three-week project was to create a three-dimensional object from a flat two-dimensional sheet of heavy paper and use a small cutter knife (exacto knife) to create an airy bas-relief effect. The use of a cutter knife, being very sharp and newly introduced as a tool used in crafts, was also a mini-lesson in using dangerous tools responsibly and safely.

        We used a fairly heavy weight though still flexible paper coated with two colors one on each side. I had prepared enough templates for each table that the four kids at the table had to share. Each table had one set of templates and four sheets of paper of different color combinations. The children were free to exchange papers, but only with other kids at their table (to prevent general pandemonium), if they wished

        The lesson was also one of waste not want not in relation to the material. The entire sheet of paper was used up if properly done with very little in the way of scrap. To this end the templates had to be laid out just so on the paper to achieve the maximum usability of the sheet. I drew a large rectangle the same shape as the kids' papers and drew and directed the proper placement of the template shapes. They then traced the shapes on their own papers. I had a sample attached to the whiteboard as well that looked like the picture on the right. The other side of the paper might be, say, yellow.

        The large fan-shape would be rolled into a cone and stapled to form the body. I didn't tell the students what we were making. Kids like to be held in suspense and try to guess what the object is going to be. Of course, from time to time I would ask if they knew what this was yet before I trotted out my sample for more detailed discussion and instruction. The large arrowhead shapes are for the wings and the smaller one the beak. The left over areas were later used to make a tail for the owl.

        Once the tracing was done, scissors were used to cut out the shapes and set aside the left overs. Now the fan shape was ready for the difficult new technique using the cutter knife. The idea was to cut V shapes in the lower center of the fan and curl them up with a pencil to create “feathers”. First, the paper had to be roughly divided into thirds. I showed the kids with a diagram of the fan on the whiteboard how to estimate “thirds” by drawing lines on the fan shape. The students then showed me their work and I adjusted as necessary.

        Using a cutting mat and a cutter knife on my own paper and a diagram on the board, I instructed the student to cut two lines in a V pattern by using two down strokes meeting at the bottom of the V and to create a pattern of eight to ten V cuts with space in between. I then showed them how to punch out the V shape and to use a pencil to curl the flap out and up. When they had successfully completed (and all of them did) the belly feathers they brought the cone to me.

        To make sure the body size was correct I had instructed to the kids to bring their cones to me and I would make the initial alignment of the straight sides and do the first two staples—top and bottom. I then told them to add two more staples toward the middle of the sides. When all the cones were finished we gathered the remaining shapes and the left overs and stapled them together and affixed them to the cone ready for the next lesson the following week.

To be continued...

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