Taking on a big project like this is always a little overwhelming during the beginning of the school year(but sometimes its nice to get these intense prepping projects out of the way if you know what I mean). I love teaching my 4th graders about paper making and why not incorporate a little action Jackson into it! And its definitely best to do this project before the snow hits the ground.
On the first day of this project I introduce the kids to Jackson Pollock and we watch a youtube of him at work. Of course we have to have a great conversation about what he has hanging out of his mouth. Thank you Jackson Pollock for providing great opportunity to discuss the dangers of smoking.
After I introduce good old Jackson I then do a demonstration of the paper making process. I always pre-make the pulp using recycled white paper in the classroom (I find that my blenders have a tendency to over heat and start to smoke during this process, but I just love pushing them to their limits). I would love for the students to get to be apart of this process (mostly because it would be a lot less work for me) but their is just not enough time in the day. For the action painting portion of the process I use the recycled table paper to get colored pulp(when blending this you may find yourself having a sudden urge for slurpies). On day 2 student partner up to make their own paper. We go outside in our courtyard to contain some of the mess. At each station I have this process visual to help them remember how to put their paper dip together and all of the different steps. Student then take turns making their own paper.
When they get to the action part of the process I try to have them focus on a certain feeling maybe how they are feeling that day and use colors and movements to represent those feelings.
I have student make paper for two days so each student ends up with two pieces of paper. On the 4th day student choose a piece to write about and mount to be displayed in the hallways and on our Artsonia art gallery. Next year I would love to have students do a more sculptural piece using their paper or maybe even book making. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them. I would also love to introduce some paper making artist to my students if you know of any?