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Squiggle Sculpture

Sculptures can be fun as well as serious. Students create a delightful Squiggle Sculpture with Crayola Neon Model Magic®! Can you balance the squiggles?

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

    1. Ask students if they knew that Pablo Picasso used bicycle parts for one of his most famous sculptures. Share a photograph of the famous artwork and have them discuss how Picasso incorporated bicycle parts into his vision for the piece. Can students think of other art pieces that also incorporate recycled materials?
    2. Working in small groups, invite students to use classroom resources and visit teacher-recommended web sites to investigate a variety of art pieces that make use of recycled items. As students research, ask them to consider how the use of recycled items balance and complete the sculptures. Once research is complete, invite children to collect small pieces of recycled items that could be incorporated into a sculpture.
    3. Ask students to re-focus on the horns of Picasso's bull. Discuss how they can re-create the bull's horns using Crayola Model Magic®. In this lesson, students will create Squiggle Sculptures using a similar shape and incorporate self-chosen recycled items. Define a maximum size for sculptures, such as the finished product must fit inside a shoe box. Students consider how recycled items will be infused into their scupltures.
    4. Students select colors of neon Crayola Model Magic that look interesting together. A small amount of white or black Model Magic can be added as a cool accent! Students roll out long skinny strands (a little thinner than your pinky) of each color. Roll the strands into long curls and swirls by propping the sculpture on or inside a base such as a paper cup or bowl. Balance with recycled items as necessary. Air-dry sculptures overnight.
    5. One way to make the base of sculptures, students choose a new Model Magic color. Roll a thick slab of it on wax paper. Press a plastic cup into it to cut out a circle. Very carefully, push the ends of the dried squiggles into the base so they stand straight up. It’s OK if the squiggles tangle up. If some pieces break, just lace pieces into another spot. Attach loose pieces with a dot of Crayola School Glue, if needed.
    6. Air-dry the sculpture before moving it to the in-school art gallery! Display it with a detailed written description of the sculpture. Use as many of the art elements and principles of visual organization as possible in your description.
  • Standards

    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: Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

    LA: Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    MATH: Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems.

    SCI: Use models to explain the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on a system.

    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

    Possible classroom resources include: Who Was Pablo Picasso? by True Kelley; Picasso (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia; Draw with Pablo Picasso by Ana Salvador

    Students work collaboratively to create one sculpture. Each member of the group selects one color to add to the sculpture. Once the sculpture is complete, students compose a summary of how they worked together to create and balance their artwork.

    Students research other artists such as Bathsheba Grossman, George W. Hart, Elizabeth Catlett, Etta Winigrad, or other artists of their choice. Organize research into an electronic presentation for classmates to view.

    Once Squiggle Sculptures are complete, students crate invitations for people to attend an unveiling of their work. Select docents (tour guides) and ask visitors to the show to sign in to the class art gallery.


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