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Bit by bit our trash pile grows; where it will end, nobody knows! Show you are smart; turn your trash into art.
Ask children to keep of diary of what they throw away in one day, at home, school, afterschool, etc. The next day have each student share from the diary and write a collective list on the board, noting frequency or quantity with tally marks. Urge students to consider how each small item would contribute to a large trash pile. Discuss where trash goes. Show pictures of landfills. Talk about the ways trash, especially plastic, sits in landfills. Discuss ideas for reducing trash. Introduce the Crayola ColorCycle program that repurposes used markers and converts the plastic into clean energy—fuel that can be used to heat homes, drive cars or cook food.
Read a book about trash and recycling like “The Wartville Wizard” by Don Madden, or “Bottle Houses: The Creative World of Grandma Prisbrey” by Melissa Slaymaker. Ask students to bring in a collection of small colorful, safe items they would ordinarily throw away. Emphasize that items should be their own, not from a trash collection, and that they must be clean and safe, with no sharp edges or dangerous liquids. (Teachers can review the Crayola recycled safety guidelines at www.crayola.com/support/craft-safety). Suggest yogurt cup lids, used marker caps, juice bottle caps, plastic spoons, beads, straws, etc. Emphasize the items need to be very small and light weight.
Show pictures of junk sculptures, especially ones with small pieces of trash embedded into clay or cement. Give each student enough Model Magic to make a small sculpture. Show them how to roll it and mold it into various shapes. A marker makes a great rolling pin! Demonstrate how to add color with fresh markers. Invite them to create sculptures of their own embellished with small pieces of trash. Encourage creativity and imagination.
Have students title their pieces and display them. Give each an opportunity to present their work and describe its creation. Remind students to recycle trash not used for the projects in the appropriate places.
Focus on historic achievements and positive role models with this collaborative monument making project.
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