Saturday, January 18, 2014

2nd Grade Insects on "Leaves" Pillows

Each year I collaborate with 2nd grade classroom teachers in an insect-related art project. This year I had the students create invented insect drawings, transfer them to Scratch-Foam, and cut their foam printing plates apart to be able to print the parts of their insects (thorax, abdomen, head and antennae, and legs) in different colors. The process is similar to Kindergarten's fish prints with the replacement of rubber brayers and block printing inks.

We printed on paper for one class to practice the process and printed on green "leaf" fabric the following class. I heat set the prints by ironing the back of the fabric on a low setting. Students cut their green fabric with their print into a leaf shape and cut a matching piece of fabric for the back. I used a sewing machine to sew the two pieces, right sides together, leaving about a four inch space to turn right side out. I let some of the kids step on the pedal of the sewing machine while I guided the fabric...they thought the sewing machine was pretty magical!

The kids stuffed and then decorated their "leaf" pillows using sequins, wiggly eyes, and yarn using Tacky Glue. (The four inch gap was also closed using Tacky Glue.) Tacky Glue is my new best friend! It appears to have similar strength to hot glue with the added benefit that I can give my young kids a piece of scrap board with a quarter size of glue and a toothpick to apply it as opposed to making them wait in a hot glue gun line.

The inking station

It was important to ink and print only
1-2 pieces at a time because the ink
 begins to dry after several minutes.
Proud artists

Wonderful teamwork hanging the prints on fabric
I love when my classroom looks like this :-)

Sew right sides together
using pins if you like...or no pins
Turn right side out and it's ready
to stuff and decorate

Warning: Kids love stuffing their pillows!

Reinventing a project can be challenging, but extremely rewarding when you see the hard work of planning bring students together and give them new experiences and great memories.