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 class project page

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Craft Ideas


FEEL FREE TO MIX AND MATCH THESE CRAFTS (e.g. make plasticine Polar Bears or Monarch Butterfly suncatchers, etc.)!



This is a simple and fun "environment-friendly" craft that utilizes old magazine or catalogue pages to make colorful butterflies.  We made this craft to celebrate the arrival of the first wave of monarchs in Mexico!


Materials needed for each butterfly mobile:

  1. one coat hanger

  2. string, thread or fishing line

  3. scissors

  4. five half-pipe cleaners

  5. five colorful catalogue or magazine pages

  6. a marker or pencil

  7. a round object for tracing circles on paper (we used a plastic plate)

Step 1:  Trace the largest circles possible onto the catalogue or magazine pages.

Step 2:  Cut out the circles.
Step 3:  Fold the circles in half and cut a "bite" out of the side across from the fold.
Step 4:  Open the paper and position it so the "bites" are on the left and right.   "Accordion-fold" each piece of paper.
Step 5:  Squeeze each accordion shut and affix a half-pipe cleaner to the middle.  Then, spread out the paper on the sides.
Step 6:  Tie each butterfly to the lower rung of the coat hanger using a different length of string, and space the butterflies so they are balanced and make an attractive display!

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This craft involves creating a multi-layer scene in a CD case.  Students can include the four stages of the monarch's life cycle (egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly) or just create a scene that is dominated by a single monarch.  Older students might want to include details such as milkweed, the sun, clouds, etc. and try blending colors to create special effects.  

Plasticine is a very "forgiving" medium.  If students are not happy with a particular result, they can usually change or cover their mistakes with additional plasticine.


Materials needed for each plasticine monarch scene:

  1. an assortment of plasticine colors

  2. one CD case, with the cover and inner piece removed (you can recycle the inner piece, but keep the cover for later)

  3. items such as a fork, for adding texture

  4. a stand


  • Modeling dough that dries hard and crumbly is not recommended.

  • Use standard CD cases, rather than extra-thin ones.

  • Stands can be purchased or made out of cardboard.

Step 1: Create a background for the monarch scene by pressing a very thin layer of plasticine into the CD case.

Step 2:  Add texture to the background.
Step 3:  Press a thin layer of plasticine onto the background to create the silhouette of a butterfly.
Step 4:  Add details by pressing thin strips of plasticine on top of the silhouette.
Step 5:  If you wish, add other elements to the picture by creating silhouettes and pressing details on top.
Step 6:  When you are finished, replace the cover on the CD case and proudly display  your creation on a stand!

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Last year, the Grade 3 students in Mrs. Black's class made 2 1/2 foot tall, paper mache Whooping Cranes.  This year, we have developed a quicker, easier crane craft that looks like a miniature version of the original.  The mini-crane would be an ideal craft for students in K-2.


Materials needed for each mini-crane:

  1. two styrofoam balls (we used a three inch one for the body and a 2 1/4 inch one for the head)

  2. two popsicle sticks for the legs and one for the neck

  3. two white bristol board wings

  4. black marker for colouring the legs and highlighting the wings

  5. white marker or paint for colouring the neck

  6. one long, skinny stick if making the flying pose

  7. some sort of cardboard or styrofoam base (styrofoam packing materials that you can reuse would be ideal)

  8. a black beak, feet and cheek patches + a red head patch (construction paper, felt or foam work well... self-stick felt is ideal for younger students)

  9. a white tissue paper square for the tail and colored tissue paper for the grass or sky on the base

  10. a cotton ball to make clouds, if making the flying pose

  11. two eyes

  12. scissors

  13. white glue


Step 1:  Colour one popsicle stick white, for the neck, and two black, for the legs.

Step 2:  Join the styrofoam balls together, by pushing the the white popsicle stick (the neck) into both styrofoam balls.
Step 3:  Push the black sticks into the body to form legs (under the bird for the standing pose; behind him for the flying pose).
Step 4:  Mount the bird structure onto the base (stab the legs into the base, for the standing pose; use a long stick to join the body to the base for the flying pose).
Step 5:  Colour the tips of the wings black and push the wings into the styrofoam body (angle them appropriately for the particular pose you are making)
Step 6:  Glue on the beak, eyes, head patch, cheek patches, feet and tail.
Step 7:  Glue patches of colored tissue paper to the base to make grass (for the standing pose) or sky (for the flying pose).  Stretch out a cotton ball and add it to the base, to look like clouds, if making the flying pose.
Ta Da!!

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Last year, one of my Grade 3 students designed this craft, at home.

The instructions for making Amy's "pop-up" crane are located here.

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This craft utilizes water color paints and construction paper to create a sunset scene with silhouettes of polar bears walking through the foreground.

Alternative idea:  Paint the sky to resemble the aurora borealis (northern lights).

Materials needed for each painting:

  1. white paper on which to paint the sunset

  2. black construction paper for the horizon and bear cut-outs (or copies of our polar bear silhouette)

  3. water color paints

  4. a paint brush

  5. a container of water

  6. scissors

  7. glue


Step 1:  Wet the brush and paint a stripe of red across the top of the white paper.  While the red paint is still wet, blend in a stripe of blue, across the lower half of the red zone.

Step 2:  Continue to work down the page, painting stripes of sunset colors and blending one color into the next.  (Note: You only need to paint the top half of the page, because the black horizon will cover the lower half.)
Step 3:  While the paint is drying, cut a horizon and polar bear silhouettes out of black construction paper.  (NOTE: If you would rather use a polar bear template than draw your own, you can download our bear silhouette.)
Step 4:  Glue the horizon to the lower half of the sunset painting.  Tuck the bears' feet behind the horizon and glue the bears into the scene.

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This is a simple craft that utilizes a paper plate or other frame, adhesive film and tissue paper to make a sun catcher.

Materials needed for each suncatcher:

  1. a paper plate with the center cut out, or some other item to use as a frame (we used a stove ring we purchased at a discount store)

  2. clear plastic film with adhesive on one side (e.g. clear shelf paper)

  3. A pencil and a marker

  4. white and other colors of tissue paper

  5. scissors

  6. string or ribbon for hanging


Step 1:  You will need pieces of adhesive film that fit your frame.  Place your frame on the paper side of the adhesive film and draw around it.  

Step 2:  Cut out the circles.
Step 3:  Peel the paper off one of the circles and affix the adhesive film to your frame.  Place the frame on the table so the film is sticky-side-up.
Step 4:  Cut body parts for your Polar Bear out of white tissue paper.
Step 5:  Assemble the bear on the sticky side of the adhesive film and press firmly.  Begin to fill in the gaps around the bear with overlapping pieces of green and blue tissue, to represent tundra and sky.  Paper-tearing, instead of cutting creates a nice effect.
Step 6:  Once the entire background has been filled-in with tissue paper, outline the bear's body and add eyes and a nose with marker.
Step 7:  Affix the second circle of adhesive film on top of the tissue paper, so both sides are protected with plastic.  Add a string or ribbon and display your creation! 

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