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Dragon myths and legends abound in literature from around the world. Depict a Legendary Dragon in a lavish sculpture that brings a magnificent creature almost to life.
Invite students to explore the different types of dragons in world mythology including Western Dragons, Eastern Dragons, Wyverns, and others. Organize a variety of text and electronic resources for students to view. When research is complete, discuss the unique qualities of each type of dragon. Compare and contrast the literature and history about them.
Students survey various artists’ representations of dragons. Some are depicted with thick, long bodies, scaly skin, four strong legs, two bat-like wings, wedge-shaped heads, and long necks. Some may be serpent-like and breathe fire. Other dragons are shape changers, while some have chameleon power to change the color of their backgrounds. Dragons are sometimes displayed as having a spade or spiked tail. They can be any color, or many colors. Invite students to choose one type of mythical dragon to represent in a detailed sculpture using these ideas and their own imaginations.
Students begin by shaping a basic dragon body armature with crumpled aluminum foil. Use the foil to make the neck, body, and tail. They can build the rest of the body off of this basic form. Cover the whole dragon with a very thin layer of Crayola Model Magic® compound.
Next, students add a head, arms, legs, wings, horns, and anything else imaginable. These features will be covered in scales next.
After the dragons have all of their parts, students cover the bodies with layers of colorful scales. To make scales, roll small Model Magic balls. Press them flat with thumbs. Start at the bottom of an area, such as the tail, and overlap scales going upward until the entire dragon is covered. Colors can be varied.
Add any finishing touches such as eyes and toenails. Use layers or rolls of compound to highlight the wings or other body parts, for example.
If the selected dragon has fiery breath, marbleize yellow and orange Model Magic compound. Pinch out and twist sections with fingers. Place the fire in dragon’s mouth. Model Magic air-dries in about 24 hours.
Display dragons and present classmates with a short written description of the myth in which it appears.
Create an original pop-art repetitive portrait based on a study the life and work of Andy Warhol.
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