Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

Second Grade: Mailbox Art Collages

Posted on: March 2, 2010

Creative Reuse Lesson Plan         Second grade: Letter Writing

Written by Keri Piehl for SCRAP /Whitman ES 2009-10

Wacky Mailbox Collage

Cost per student: $.04

Materials: Glue sticks, scissors, cardstock (or something to mount the collage papers to), lots of scrap papers, photos of unusual mailboxes (I have the book Mailbox, U.S.A. : stories of mailbox owners and makers : a celebration of mailbox art in America by Rachel Epstein.)

Students will create a 2-D version of a mailbox that expresses themselves.

Elements of art: shape, color, space

Vocabulary: mailbox, folk art, collage

1. Share the pictures or book with your students. Ask them if they’ve ever seen a funny mailbox and discuss why someone might choose to make an art mailbox. What does that say about the artist? Who will see the art?

2. While the kids start to think of what kind of art mailbox might be right for them, have them choose a piece of collage backing, put their names on the back, and review the use of the materials. I see kids twisting out ½ a glue stick and using way more than they need every day. A review on the Reduce part of the three R’s can’t hurt.

3. Discuss what their mailbox would need to qualify as a mailbox. My suggestion: A post or support, a door to the hollow cavity to hold the mail, and a flag or signal to let you know the mail has been taken. Kids that aren’t sure where to start can begin with these basics while they ponder the main box.

4. Have the kids sift through the scraps to find colors and textures that appeal to them or shapes that inspire them. They can lay out and glue the base layers, and then add details and glue other collage pieces as they go.

5. This might be a good project to discuss titling an art piece: Flower Box or Jeff’s Airplane etc. can be easy and relevant – have them give their art mailbox idea a fitting title.

Note: Obviously, this is an ultra specific lesson plan – how often are you gong to be studying the mail? The idea is to find some sort of niche art and expose the kids to it in a relevant and fitting way. Similar examples might be art cars and crazy shoes.

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