It’s just the first week and just a small start to these little birds.

We are creating 3D paper mache’ birds according to their class names.  For example the Kingfisher class is making Kingfishers.  As per my usual method I have a file of fantastic pictures of their specific bird in various states of flight and sitting to enthuse them.  We discuss the body parts and shapes though not the colours yet as we will do that when we paint or colour the birds.

Starting with scrunched balls of newspaper and masking tape we create the head and body of the birds and tape the head to the body.  Then we cut card to create the wings and tail.  this too is masking taped to the body.

Now the trick to mixing starch (if you’re a newby art teacher) is to first mix approx. 5 tbsp of starch (good for about 50 kids) in a bit of cold water so it is all dissolved.  This is then poured into a large dish and boiling water is poured over that and stirred immediately to create a transparent elephant snot.  That’s what we call it in my room.  I started the name because as a newby I made really lumpy warm starch.  Yuck!

Strips of news paper (medium and short lengths) are then run through the starch and smoothed over the bird.  Careful to cover all lumps, holes and edges of card.  This should ideals be left to dry on some spread out plastic and it will become hard and beautiful for hanging.

I think I forgot to take photos when my kids were “paper-mache’ing” the wings and tail – oops!  But on we go…   Once the birds were totally covered – and coloured card for the wings and tail help to spot and point out the uncovered areas – we painted them with powder paint.  I only mixed up the colours appropriate for their class birds as I know they would go creating very colourful birds (or worse! really grose birds) if I gave them even half a chance.

Some proud little ladies and gents took their painted birds back to their teacher to be strung up on a mobile come end of this lesson.  Though my hair may fall out due to the mess of paper mache’ the kids delight is worth it…(the end products are worth it too – well certainly more of the pieces than not).

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