It all started one day while I was brainstorming projects for my weaving unit while walking through the grocery store, a favorite weekend pastime of mine. Then it hit me! Down the pretzel aisle stood a tower of broken down Frito boxes in all their cardboard glory. I cautiously asked the young girl working if I could take some cardboard for my students. She looked at me as if thinking why even ask? but proceeded to say, “Sure, go ahead,” and go ahead I did! My intentions for all this cardboard are about to come full circle. Here’s what we’ve done do far.
2nd grade started by learning their complementary colors and by mixing tints and shades on either side of their large canvas. After choosing the color scheme of their choice, they had free range on how to paint their boards. I am pleased to see how the designs get less cutesy and more creative as the year goes on. Students are taking what they know about line and applying wild brushstrokes to get movement and bold, organic shapes. It could also be all that practice we’ve had since studying Matisse.
I loved the graffiti-esque quality of these old boxes piled up. They are so beautiful to me in their rugged and raw state.
Since painting, I have cut each box into 10 strips (with ye olde box cutter) and will give the corregated bundle back to the students who will then weave (without looms) some amazing, freestanding, 3D creations. Today we practiced for that day by creating the same lattice work we will use on the cardboard with thin paper. This is not as easy as it looks but 2nd grade was up for the challenge.
Stay tuned for the finale, which should be all wrapped up before winter break!