I made this whale a while ago. A while ago whale! It is a miniature version of one I am going to make with the children at the beginning of the term. I rashly said that I could do an art project with the year six children instead of the art company they usually use, and, as a practice made two large totem poles last term to test my theory. They came out pretty well, but involved an awful lot of preparation work and the few afternoons over which we made them were busy to say the least. But I enjoyed it. It was a project done in the aftenoons following the SATS tests in the mornings, so it was a stress relieving activity for them I hope.
With that project I worked with the whole classes with the help of two teaching assistants. Working out the logistics is just as important as how to do the art, in fact it is the part I find the hardest! For this project with an ocean theme, and also an environmental one, I have planned a number of things to make. The whale is the biggest and will be made from withies (willow sticks) which I am just going to call 'sticks' as every adult I have told about them has said "Willies?" So I am going for sticks. You soak them for a few hours which makes them pliable. This whale is a scale model. The big one will be made in the same way, with three sections hooked together so that there is a little movement.
He is hanging on a lovely piece of chain I found by the river.
I have enjoyed finding out a lot more than I knew before about all things related to the project, such as how lobsters can grow to around three and a half feet, shedding their exoskeletons regularly as they grow larger, and the things that look like roots on seaweed aren't, but are anchors instead. The lobsters are going to have pipecleaner legs and feelers. I used a plastic lobster that came from Andy's parents, as a model for my prototype, and ordered a job lot of orange pipe cleaners. It was only after they arrived that I realised I don't want the children to make cooked lobsters, but live ones! Back to eBay for blue pipecleaners!