Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Polenta Staff Monuments

This lesson I borrowed from, but I tweaked it a tad to fit my art supplies.
We began the lesson talking about monuments. What they are and some examples around the world. Then we focused on monuments of people, and what kind of characteristics a person would have to have to be inspiring. We brainstormed these on the board.

We discussed how all of these characteristics really show in our teachers/staff at Polenta.

Each student was to pick one staff member at school and to create a three dimensional monument of them. In each class no more that two students doing the same person.

The above site really has a great overview of this lesson. However I used wheat paste instead of glue. We did use toilet paper (thanks to our custodians hooking us up). paper towels too hard to shape and mold. Instead of poster board..I had already ordered these from school specialty

Roylco Stand-Up Self Portrait Art Project Kit - 6 1/4 x 9 inch - Pack of 40 I did however rip the backs off and create my own with tag board and hot glue.

Students painted over their paper mache (i did however prime them with gesso myself first) and they added yarn for the hair and other embellishments for fun. They put a clear sealer/varnish on top of the paint too. The very last day they added a name plate and wrote why their staff member is inspiring. Several are focused in the display case outside of my room (see pics).

I plan on having a monument exhibit the week after next in the media center to display all of them. Staff is getting a hoot out at them and think they are great.
I think it makes the staff members feel special to be thought of.

Next nine weeks when I do it all again, maybe I won't do the paper mache?

Why. time. It took two class periods just for that. Several for the rest. A long project. But fun.
I think however the mache that was on the best parts of the projects for the students.

Great pic of what I added on the backs of all

Mr. P, movement teacher with his whistle!

What this student wrote about their second grade teacher was adorable.

Our custodian, Mr. James. Several were done of him.


  1. This lesson is awesome! I would love to see how the kids do the features like lips and nose.

  2. First we drew the face withe pencil. Using paper mâché and toliet tissue nose, lips eye brown etc were formed and put on.