Monday, February 14, 2011

Lesson idea: Paper rose sculpting

I'm a huge fan of projects oriented around holidays/seasons/special occasions. It's something that I guess is really more often done for younger age groups (elementary specifically) but I always feel like it's fun even for my high schoolers. Usually I plan long in advance for specifically timed projects but this year I forgot about Valentine's day until it was just about upon me and so brainstormed and pored through the supplies inventory to find something that could/would work and NOT look thrown together.

Enter: the Infamous Paper rose.

I call it infamous because in my world? It is. I have been twisting paper roses for as long as I can remember and have shared them with folks during every major stage of my life...

  • Working on the geriatric floor at the psych hospital right after college
  • On dates/while being courted by wonderful gentlemen during my college years and after
  • In my college dining hall or dorms for almost any of my friends' birthdays or when they were dealing with messy/ugly/sad breakups with boyfriends
  • When I have been at any number of restaurants waiting for my food to come

You can sculpt and twist a paper rose out of just about any flexible/pliable paper material. I usually use napkins or paper towels since that's what usually seems to be on hand but those certainly don't make for the prettiest roses in the world. What is ideal is (of course) tissue paper in colors common to roses. And if you're really lucky, you also might have some floral tape, green duct tape, or paper tape on hand that can be painted the appropriate color for the stem and leaves.

Since I'm in an art room and am largely the controller and orderer of the raw materials supply I knew that we had more than enough brightly colored tissue paper AND paper kraft tape (adheres when you moisten in) to sculpt both parts of the rose. The hardest part? Showing the kids how to sculpt and model the rose by rolling and wrapping and twisting the tissue correctly and then wrapping the stems as snugly as possible to look the most realistic.

I don't have a picture of the dozens of roses they made but here is an example one that I had for them. They twisted and sculpted the blossom and covered the stems last Friday and they will paint the stems green today to be able to pick them up by the end of the day...

This is a really fun lesson that could easily be adapted to younger kids and even larger roses.

BTW - Happy Valentine's day!! Thanks for stopping by and loving this blog enough for me to have a reason to keep posting! (Even though I don't post nearly as often as would be worthwhile *wink*)

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