Second graders LOVE robots and they especially love creating ones that can move. We begin this project by looking at some paintings by Kandinsky. I explain how he would listen to music while he painted. We discussed different parts of the paintings that reminded us of music: what looks like a record, music bars, guitar strings, a speaker…
What you need:
- Oil pastels
- Tempera block paint
- Thick, 11×14″ paper, I use white poster board
- hole punchers
- Water cups
- Brass fasteners
- An assortment of buttons, yarn, beads, feathers, you know… robot things!
- Elmer’s glue
- A way to play music
Let’s get started!
Day One, Step One:
I begin by playing a few songs with drastically different tempos. I play, Clair de Lun, Bird is the Word, a couple Jazz songs and Flight of the Bumble Bee. They always get a kick out of Bird is the Word! We discuss how different songs make us feel different and might inspire us to draw different lines or shapes with different colors. I play the songs and let the kids go wild with their drawings, making sure they leave some white space to paint.
Next, I lay out sets of tempera blocks and paint brushes, play some Jazz, and let the kids paint however they like.
By the end of the class I am left with crazy, colorful paper for our robots!
I cut everyone’s paper into robot-body-parts (Seen below). Cut the paper in half the long way, use one half to cut a 5″ long head and the rest for the body. The other half of paper cut in half again the long way and then into four, 7″ long pieces for arms and legs.
Day two, Step One:
The first part of putting these guys together is gluing the head to the body, they can either turn it so there is a size difference or flip it so the paint colors don’t blend.
I tell the kids to lay their robot out on their table and use a hole puncher to punch a hole where they will be adding the arms and legs.
Put out trays of fun little things to add. I give each kid a pair of googly eyes and let them have a blast decorating their robot!
I hot glue a wooden dowel on the thing’s back and call it a wrap. Have fun!