The Trickiest Challenge

One of the most important parts of my job, as I see it, is to teach students how to be creative problem solvers. Can they mix that perfect shade of paint when they only have limited colors… and how? Can they build a sculpture with movable parts using only cardboard and tin foil… how? Can they take flat, lifeless paper and DO something to it to bring it to life… how?

Each year in first grade we do a paper sculpture project. The specifics vary from year to year, but I always refer to these types of paper manipulation:


Of course, I invited students to continue exploring and come up with their own ideas of paper manipulation as well.

I raised the bar this year with a project that I knew would be insanely challenging, but I wanted to see if  the first grade artists could do it – given the proper supports.

After lots of paper sculpting practice… and lots of demonstrations and examples… I asked the 1st graders to look at Kandinsky paintings and recreate them as sculptures. Only the most minimal parts of their artwork could remain flat on the base.

Using their very best creative problem solving skills, they rose to the challenge. I hope you enjoy looking through these as much as I enjoyed watching students make them!

Click on a photo to begin slideshow:

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