SchoolArts Magazine

NOV 2013

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Zig Zag Early Childhood Studio Lesson Dolls Patricia Saunders S everal years ago, Robert D. San Souci was the guest author at our school. He brought many of his books, including a picture book titled Zigzag, a story about a doll-maker who creates a doll named Zigzag and places him on the shelf for the night. After the doll-maker leaves, Zigzag is bullied and is pushed off the shelf by the other dolls. Zigzag ultimately ends up outside in the trash bin and has to climb his way out. The book does have a happy ending, as three mice find him a nice home with a happy little girl, and his zigzagged mouth turns into a happy smile. Starting with Scraps The beginning of the story reveals that Zigzag was made from scraps of fabrics. I just happened to have a large box full of donated fabrics in my classroom. Since then, creating Zigzag dolls has become an annual activity. Students love to hear the story and talk about it. The first step is to read the book to the class. Discuss how the other dolls bully Zigzag, and reinforce the kindness of the newfound friends—the mice—and the happy ending. This lesson will take no more than two classes. Some will finish their dolls during the first class period, but most will not. The charm of these Zigzag dolls is encouraging students to create their own. Let them choose the fabrics, do their own cutting, and glue their fabrics where they want. Most will not be in the center of the paper and some will have legs, tails, and hats hanging off the edges, but that's what makes them so special. Materials and Resources • 12 x 18" (30 x 45 cm) white paper, poster board, or card stock • assortment of donated fabrics (magazines, wallpaper, and wrapping paper all can be used if you don't have fabric) • yarn (optional) • scissors • liquid glue and/or glue sticks • markers, crayons, or anything that can be used for drawing on fabric Procedures 1. Prepare the fabric before class. Have an arrangement of fabrics already cut into usable sizes. 2. At the beginning of the class, read and discuss the book Zigzag. 3. Review shapes. Have students draw shapes for their dolls onto the fabrics. Encourage different fabrics for different parts of the doll. 4. Have students glue the shapes onto the paper. 5. Have students add eyes, hair, ears, and whatever else they want. Patricia Saunders is an art teacher at St. Monica Catholic School in Dallas, Texas. NatioNal StaNdard Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas. Web liNk zigzag.htm 27

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