Monday, December 13, 2010

Mounted Butterflies

- water color paper
- water color pencils
- water
- paint brushes
- acrylic paint
- air dry clay
- wire
- tagboard or heavy paper for mounting

Every year the "Butterfly Man" comes in to teach our students all about butterflies. He brings in those great displays of real butterflies so that students can see them up close and in detail. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to use his recent visit as inspiration for our next lesson.
I made a template of one upper wing and one lower wing.  The students traced them onto water color paper. First, so they have wings on the right side, flipped the templates over and traced and another time so they have wings facing the opposite direction. I also encouraged them to use the pattern just as a guideline so that they can change the shape a little if they want.  They should have two top wings (both left and right) and both bottom wings (both left and right).

They designed a top wing (didn't matter if they started with left or right) and with the help of light tracer boxes and large windows, they were able to trace the design onto the other wing so that it was exactly symmetrical. You have to remind the students that when they trace their design onto the other wing, it has to be in reverse, so that they don't end up with two "right wings." I highlighted avoiding using happy faces, peace signs and hearts in their designs, as we so often see on butterfly designs at this age.

Their bodies were made from air dry clay and I used wire as antennae, which were easy to stick in before the clay dried. They were painted with acrylic paint. It was all mounted using a hot glue gun and I helped the students bend the wings upward a tad, giving the illusion of mobility.

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