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More Than a Memory

Discover how artists use everyday objects in creative ways! Transform an old memento into a dazzling picture frame and use Crayola® Bright Fabric Markers to preserve its memory with decorative designs.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Prior to the opening of this lesson, request that students will bring a cloth item from home that has special significance to them.
    2. Ask students if they have ever thought of a spoon as a work of art? Artists frequently find creative, unconventional uses for ordinary objects. That style or technique is known as Found Object Art. Why would an artist want to use found objects in their work? Discuss some ideas with the class. Invite students to view and research work by found object artists, like Marcel Duchamp or Zac Freeman. What is interesting and unique about their artwork? What everyday items do they utilize? Organize text and electronic resources for students to use during their research.
    3. Once research is complete, have students share their learning with classmates. Then ask students to share the items they have gathered to transform into a work of art. Let them know that they will create a memory frame using the fabric from a special keepsake that will hold a photo of a related memory. For best results, use 100% cotton fabric.
    4. Students carefully cut enough fabric from mementos to cover a 4" x 6" wooden picture frame using Crayola Scissors. Consider covering the frame in patchwork style to use fabric pieces from the entire item. Are there patches, buttons, embroidery or other unique features on the keepsake that can be included on the memory frame?
    5. Place the wooden picture frame with the front facing up on a flat, hard surface, like a table or desk. Students cover their work areas with recycled newspaper. Spread fabric glue over the edges of the wooden frame and snugly wrap the frame with fabric pieces. Attach any buttons or other accessories from keepsakes over the fabric.
    6. Encourage students to add a title, caption, or decorative details to the memory frame with Crayola Bright Fabric Markers! Draw a design, making certain to saturate the cloth. When finished, students ask an adult to iron their designs. Set iron on cotton setting and iron on the reverse side using a back and forth motion for 4 minutes. This will fix the color to the fabric. Stain Advisement: Fabric markers are permanent on clothing and contain colorants that may stain household surfaces. Wear a smock to protect clothing and cover work surface. Recap markers as soon as possible and store in a horizontal position. Do not shake markers.
    7. Ask students to bring in a copy of a photograph that is important to them. Have them insert the photograph into their original frames. Provide time in the school day for students to share their frames and selected photographs with small groups of classmates.
    8. Add a photograph related to the memory of your keepsake. Present your frame to the class and share your memories of that special event or time.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing n which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit.

    SCI: Design a device that replaces an external structure and analyze data on its physical properties to compare alternative solutions to the problem.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Compare multiple purposes for creating works of art.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resource includes: Recycle!: A Handbook for Kids by Gail Gibbons

    Students investigate artists that have created artworks using recycled materials such as Andrew Chase and Derek Gores. What materials were used? How did the artists think outside of typical uses to use recycled materials?

    Organize a nature walk for students. Encourage students to gather natural objects along the walk. Small logs or sticks with interesting patterns of bark, vividly colored leaves and flowers are a few examples. Use these objects in original artwork.

    Students compose a summary paragraph to accompany their recycled art which includes what materials they used, how the piece was constructed, what inspired their art, etc. Display summary paragraphs with student models.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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