April 19, 2011

Instructions - The Recycled Rainforest

 The Reused Rainforesta two part workshop. Ideally allow 1.5 -  2 hours for each session. 

MATERIALS for workshop #1
1. Have the children collect recycling such as: yoghurt, cottage cheese, humous containers, TP rolls, plastic bottle tops, corks, plastic canisters or jars, soy, rice or almond milk containers, egg cartons etc.
2. Brown paper bag - one for each child
3. Scissors for each child
4. For a table of 5 children: 2 Elmer's glues, 3 glue sticks, one stapler, 1 roll of blue or brown tape
5. 1 glue gun and hot glue sticks and a glue gunner
6. Pens - just a few black markers or pencils for tracing templates if they use them 

MATERIALS for workshop #2
1. Tempera paint - (not really watery, un-pigmented stuff) - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black and white
2. Paint brushes - a fat and a skinny one for each child
3. Water - for each table to clean brushes in
4. Newspaper or other table cover
5. Paper towels or rags for wiping little hands and brushes on
6. Elmer's glue for using with glitter
7. Glitter and a tray for each glitter color
8. Recycled colorful bits, pieces of tinfoil etc. that they could attach AFTER the paint dries
9. One hot glue gun and hot glue sticks and a glue gunner
10. Pallets or paper plates - one or 2 for each table with the paint in for the kids to share

MATERIALS for adult prep of plants to be painted
1. Primer - enamel spray paint (water based) or gesso (spray) or regular gesso or water based primer 


Workshop #1
1. Introduction - ask them about the 3 (or 4) R's (Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle) and then what they know about rainforest plants, shapes etc. Let them know that their own recycling bin at home is an EXCELLENT source of free art supplies.
          a. Show them how to cut certain shapes and use templates which you may or may not choose to use. Let them know that leaves and petals can be all different shapes, as can plant structures.

          b. Ask them to clean up as they go and put recyclable scraps in the bottom of the bag you will have left over.
          c. Encourage them to be imaginative while also using some of the things they know about rainforest plants. These plants will be their own hybrids, and or small ecosystems...let them get really wacky if they want, encourage innovation. Let everyone find their own way.

2. Show them how to "skin" a bag. That is BEFORE they go cutting out shapes, have them cut it open and turn it into one big sheet of brown paper (otherwise many of them will be cutting through 2 or 3 layers of the bag simultaneously and getting frustrated.


3. Tell them how to adhere things (in order of preference) staple, tape, glue, hot glue (only the adult gets to hot glue).

4. Tell them that between workshops you will be "priming" IE painting completely white, their plants so any color added now will be painted over white. We will think about color next week. (We prime because of the differences in materials - tempera doesn't stick well to plastic and looks dark painted over brown paper. It is possible to go without "priming" but the white paint undercoat really helps the painting process)

5. Have one adult manning the glue gun and children take turns as needed getting bit's hot glued that won't stick otherwise.

Adults need to "prime" the plants (that is - cover them with a white surface sealant/ paint) in order for the tempera paint to adhere to all the weird and different surfaces. You can use spray primer or hand paint them. The spray method is allot faster. 
(Remember - you can use water based paint over water based paint, and oil based paint over water based but NOT water based paint over oil based paint.)
You can try not priming too...it will probably just be a little harder for the children.

Workshop #2
1. Cover desks with something like newspaper
2. Place 1 or 2 pallets or plates with all the colors at each desk
3. Put 2 paintbrushes - one fat and one skinny - at each seat
4. 1 sturdy water glass for cleaning brushes and a few paper towels at each table
5. Introduction: We will be painting the plants. Again, be creative and think about designs and patterns (i.e. polka-dots, stripes etc) that might adorn the plants.
     a. Ask them if they know how to keep paint pure (cleaning brushes between each color and mixing colors if necessary on a separate dish)
     a. In the last 1/2 hour of class they can add glitter, but their plants have to be pretty dry first so that the glitter doesn't stick to everything. Have an adult or two manning the glitter table.

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