Monday, January 18, 2016

First grade Calder Mobiles

This super fun lesson relating to Alexander Calder's mobiles really emphasizes the difference between organic and geometric shapes.  Most of the first graders have learned them from me in Kindergarten, but our goal for this lesson is understanding and retention of knowledge, not just getting use to the vocabulary.
We start off by discussing a bit of Alexander "Sandy" Calder's history and we look at his incredible sculptures.  This is also a lesson where I really want the students to understand the difference between a sculpture and a painting.  Another reason why I love Alexander Calder.  He has gorgeous abstract paintings that focus both on either geometric shapes and organic shapes!  Then, we look at his sculptures (mobiles in particular) and we find the organic and geometric shapes in them.  Next, the students cut out their own organic shapes and punch a hole to get ready for the following day.
The last day is when we put it all together.  Using model magic, we create a base for our sculpture on mat board.  The students then use Twisteez wire and pipe cleaners to add straight, wavy or ziz zag lines in their sculptures with their organic shapes at the end (beads are added because beads are fun!).  Finally, the students draw geometric shapes to create a border for their base.  Way to go, little hands!  You made big success with this lesson!

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