Friday, October 26, 2012

Later, gator!

The second graders are makin' gators!

I saw this cool project over on Dali's Moustache awhile back (Dali's Moustache notes that the original idea came from a Flickr account via Pinterest). Blogger Ren did it with her first graders; I opted to try it with the second grade crew, though I may use it for first grade in the future. (Confession: I have a little bit of weaving phobia, especially with first graders.)

We spent the first day making a 6x9" sheet of sgraffito using greens and blues. It was a good review of painting procedures and parts of the paintbrush, and the kids LOVED the sgraffito effect... mmkay, I love it, too!

Look at that precious face. I live for those moments.
Any early finishers worked on a practice weaving to review the over/under; some of them remembered from first grade and others did not, so they helped each other, which I loved watching. :-)

When the sheets were dry, I chopped 'em up into 6x1" strips and deposited them into students' envelopes (which we use throughout the year when we have pieces likely to go MIA). On the second day, the little ones weaved and then began tracing feet, a head, and a tail. Body parts everywhere! (How appropriately Halloween!)

On the third day (it feels like I'm writing the book of Genesis over here), bodies were completely assembled, wiggle eyes were added, and teeth were added if desired. (Teeth are optional in rural Pennsylvania... hahaha just kidding, PA. I love you.) Then, kiddos used precious gold paint to decorate the non-sgraffito parts of their glorious gators.

Hahaha... I love my job.

This little fella is decorating his gator with Korean writing!

This is probably the most any of the kids' projects have looked alike--I try to avoid 'cookie cutter' projects at all costs. (I do think that kind of assignment has its place--my room just isn't that place.) With the sgraffito, the choice of green paper, and the painting, they look individualized enough for me; when I do it again, I may give more options for painting, including some other metallics, like Ren had done.

The kids reviewed their weaving and learned something new, and they love their lil' gators!

This gator has an afro!
That's some bite you have there...

Gangsta gator with a gold grill!

This gator put her mascara on this morning...

Update: As soon as I put the gators in the hallway, I got a plethora of comments. Unfortunately, some of them were "those are great turtles" and "I love those fish." FAIL. I remedied the confusion with a large and overcompensating sign, "2ND GRADERS' GATORS." Next time, I think I'll require teeth, and make the bodies longer and more narrow. You live, you learn. Till then, I think our gator/turtle/fish creatures are pretty cool.


  1. Very cute :) The gold is a really nice touch and I love the sgraffito paper!! I'm becoming a big fan of using hand painted paper for collage and construction, it's so very much better than bought stuff!

  2. Anonymous11/01/2012

    I just love the way you present a lesson in stages and photos! I t makes it so much easier to plan your own lesson when someone has coveredall ofthe hurdles for you! These turned out great and I am a HUGE fan of adding gold onto everything! IOt just makes it so much more special amd kids love it. Thanks for a great post and I love your sense of humor!


    1. Thanks, Pat! Your kind words are extra appreciated 'cause your blog is so cool and well done!