Bug Study: 3-D Bugs

At the end of the school year, my class enjoyed a 3-week study of bugs.   First, they researched a chosen bug and published a book.  Now, the kids are given the task of creating a 3-D version of their bug.  
Jackson's bumblebee
After sketching, drawing, and painting our chosen bugs for a week, the kids made 3-D versions.  We talked about the concept of 3-D as well as sculptures.  A big part of our discussion was about the representation of the bug - it doesn't have to be 100% realistic.  We looked at images from books we had as well as those from a quick Google search.
Lilly's clay butterfly with felt wings
 For materials, the sky was the limit (as long as we had it in the classroom).  I set out various art and construction materials around the classroom.  The idea was for the kids to find a medium that spoke to them and create.  I set aside a big chunk of time for this. 
Ella's stuffed butterfly
A few kids sewed while others immediately went to the recycled construction box.  I had put out a bunch of modeling clay I found at the back of the art cabinet.  That was a big hit - something new!
Porter's scorpion made 3 ways
Some kids made multiple versions of their bug, while others spent the entire time on one detailed masterpiece.  As they finished, the bugs were set out at the front of the room on paper plates for all to admire, discuss, and be inspired by.
Abby's dragonfly
Creating these 3-D bugs allowed the kids to work towards their strengths and interests.  It also was great for creative problem solving.  As I reflect on this activity, I hear little voices in my head thinking, questioning, and working: "How can I made wings?"  "What kinds of materials will work best for this?"  "It's not working!  How do I make this fit?!"  "I do not like working with this clay!  It's too stiff!"  "Look!  I made my own pattern for sewing!"  "I need 3 legs on each side.  Mine is an insect."

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