I have seen variations of this project many times but have never tried it with my students. I am pleased with how our assemblages turned out! This was a great opportunity to clean out the junk in the classroom and teach about using found objects.
My Primaries (or first grade) learned a little about American sculptor Louise Nevelson. There is a short clip on YouTube that explains about her artwork.
I put a call out to families to donate shoebox lids for our projects. Then, I gathered a whole bunch of random odds and ends from the art room and my house.
Here are some of the fantastic things you can collect for sculptures.
Plastic Toys and Buttons
Marker Caps, Ends of Tape Rolls, Corks
Metal Odds and Ends
Wood Scraps and Sticks
After digging through the boxes of stuff and selecting the pieces they wanted, the first graders used Elmer’s glue to adhere the pieces to their boxes. The next class period, the flipped their boxes over to see what was still loose. We determined that most of the plastic pieces did not stick down with regular glue, so I took out the glue gun and helped them secure their pieces.
Choosing our pieces and gluing them down took about two or three 40-minute periods to complete. Then, when the weather was nice, I took the pieces outside and spray painted each of the boxes with the color of their choice. I had four different colors of Liquitex Spray Paint to color the boxes. I think they turned out wonderful!
Here are our boxes as a group. It took me about an hour and a half total time to spray paint all of these boxes, because they needed several coats. I had 4 cans of spray paint which colored all these boxes with paint left over in each can. If I were attempting this with a larger group, I would have the students use acrylic paint to paint their boxes, or I would use parent volunteers to help spray paint. I would not allow the children to spray paint their own boxes. Next year I’m going to have the students collect their own things from home or go on a walk to find items.