Thursday, November 8, 2007


Below is a poster I designed to advertise our upcoming event.

Dimetrodon and Ankylosaurus get a paint job

Painting Dinos

Now it's time to paint the plaster dinosaurs. First we just cover them all over with a single color of paint. On the following week, we'll paint details, like teeth, scales, markings, claws, etc.

Fifth graders are starting their own Plastercraft dinosaur sculptures. Students are in groups of five and assigned a dinosaur to research. They take their sketchbooks with them to the library and they find out as much as they can about their dinosaur. In the computer lab, they're making a Powerpoint slide presentation about their dinosaur. When they come back to the art room, they use a balloon and cardboard to create an armature for their sculpture, and cover it with sheets of Pariscraft. This is a really neat material, that you can dip in water and then mold over the armature. It's similar to what you may have seen a doctor use to make a cast.

The Calvary Arrives

Remeber in the old westerns when the Calvary shows up at the last minute to save the day? Well, just when I thought I was in over my head with this Dino Daze projects, Mr. Josh Haines arrived! He's a student teacher from Mansfield University who'll be working with me for a few weeks. He's done a lot of the work in adding to the T . Rex sculpture.

The Making of Rexie

We use boxes to bulk up the armature. You might say here that Rexie has a pair of boxer shorts!

This is me, adding more cardboard to the armature.

Preparing for Dino Daze

My elementary art classes are preparing for an art show. However, we don't have just everyday, run-of-the-mill art shows! We call them "family fun nights" where kids and their parents can come to the school and look at what the kids have made and do fun activities together. Usually we have hands-on science lessons, board games, crafts, gym activities, snacks, etc. Each year is a different theme. For example, last year was Dr. Seuss. This year will be dinosaurs!

Each grade level will do at least one art project based on the theme. Fifth graders are making Pariscraft dinosaur sculptures. Of course, the teacher needs to make an example! So that the kids can see it, I'll make a six foot tall Tyrannosaurus Rex. I think we'll name him "Rexie". When he's finished, he'll be placed in the lobby to greet the kids as they come in.

I'm fortunate to have a teacher next door who's handy with carpentry. Mr. Patt, our music teacher built together a wooden frame for the first step in the armature. Future posts of this blog will show the progress of Rexie, and the kids' work too.