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Sandcastle Rooflines

Recycle plastic containers into an Art Nouveau sandcastle that gleams in the light. Encourage your students to build masterpieces in the celebrated architectural style of Antonio Gaudi—or invent their own unique construction.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926), a Spanish architect born in Barcelona, Spain had a unique vision. Although his first buildings were based upon Gothic architecture (Gothic revival), his style eventually became more fluid and organic. His later work, which is classified as Art Nouveau, combines many styles and shapes. Because of its relationship to natural forms, his architecture is often compared to dragons or sandcastles. Provide a variety of texts or articles focused on Gaudi's work, as well as photographs for students to use for research and small group discussion.
    2. Invite students to use recycled materials to create their own imaginary construction. Ask the class to gather a variety of plastic recycled containers from home.
    3. Working in small groups, students arrange the recycled materials to look like an interesting building. On a sheet of firm cardboard or a small section of plywood, flattened balls of Crayola® Model Magic can be used to position the containers near each other. Demonstrate how to place Crayola School Glue on the flat surface before appling Model Magic. Press the containers into the Model Magic to form an armature for castles. Provide time for student groups to experiment with this process and their recycled materials.
    4. Students add details to the surface of their containers with small balls of Model Magic and glue. Press pieces of Model Magic close together—when it is fresh from the pack, it sticks to itself!
    5. Architectural details, such as fancy cornices or a thatched roof, can be added. Texture them with the ends of Crayola Paint Brushes or other tools. Air-dry construction at least 24 hours.
    6. Encourage students to fill any spaces with Model Magic details. Use plastic gemstones, aquarium gravel, pebbles, tiles, or other decorative craft items to create a mosaic effect. These pieces can be glued to the surface.
    7. Fill in the areas that you textured by applying Crayola Watercolor Paint with a Paint Brush. Dilute the paint with water so it mixes on the building for an interesting, colorful effect. Air-dry the paint.
    8. Students can add sparkling touches with Crayola Glitter Glue. Air-dry the castle.
    9. If time permits, invite students to create plants and shrubs to landscape the area around the Sandcastle. These can be cut from construction paper and glued in place. Add a walkway, steps, and outside ornamentation with Model Magic®. Fill in surrounding areas with colorful gravel or other recycled, colorful materials.
    10. As a group, students compose a summary of how their artwork was influenced by Gaudi's work. Post this summary with the artwork for classmates and parents to view.
  • Standards

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

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

  • Adaptations

    Encourage students to research other artists such as Frank Lloyd Wright. Compare and contrast Gaudi's architecture to Wright's. Create an example of Gaudi's style of construction that is similar to Wright's "Falling Water" or other buildings.

    Nature is an inspiration for many artists. Research artists and architects to reveal the use of nature in their work.

    In building additional sculptures, encourage students to make use of recycled materials.


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