Mother’s Day Fashion Design Early Childhood
The Art Problem
Combine fashion design, Mother’s
Day, and a meaningful art lesson.
Students will learn that fashion
design is an art career and make an
article of clothing for their mothers.
air-dry clay like Crayola Model
Magic, twenty-eight-gauge wire
(available at hardware stores), pliers
and wire cutters (teacher use)
1. Prior to class, cut and bend a
small wire hanger for each student.
Collect advertisements that display
dresses or tops and display a real
dress on a hanger. Discuss the
importance people place on the
clothing they buy. Point out that
clothing is designed by a designer in
the fashion industry.
2. Have students shape a dress
with a golf-ball-sized piece of air-
dry clay. Model the dress over the
teacher-made wire hanger.
3. Have students add details with
other colors of air-dry clay, such as
belts, hems, etc.
4. Ruffles or designs may be
impressed with a toothpick or craft
5. Have students write Mother’s
Day poems to accompany the
By Craig Hinshaw, an elementary art teacher in the Lamphere
School District in Madison
Heights, Wisconsin, and author
of Clay Connections (Poodle
Styrofoam Creations Middle School
The Art Problem
Motivate students to perform as
real-life sculptors to create proposals for a variety of settings.
Students will individually transform
cardboard into a three-dimensional
sculpture proposal and then cooperatively work in groups to transform Styrofoam into a large-scale
4" (10 cm) pieces of corrugated
cardboard, Styrofoam pieces, craft
sticks, craft glue, masking tape
1. Discuss the differences between
two-dimensional and three-dimensional art and view sculptures
that are designed to complement
buildings. Explain that the planning
process for such sculptures includes
consideration of scale and proportion, subject matter, materials, and
2. Give each student a 4" piece
of corrugated cardboard and
instruct them to turn it into a three-dimensional proposal for a large
sculpture. Share and critique.
3. Assign students to teams and
have them work together to share
their ideas to create a large-scale
sculpture proposal made primarily
with Styrofoam held together with
craft sticks, craft glue, and masking
Display and critique the proposals.
The overall focus should be placed
on the primary materials with the
secondary materials being used only
as enhancing details. The sculptures
should stand on their own with
neat and sturdy construction and be
visually balanced. Additional criteria
include quality artistry, visual unity,
and innovative design.
By Margarete Hyer, visual arts
teacher at Benjamin Franklin
Middle School in Ridgewood,
Pendant Design Elementary
The Art Problem
Explore jewelry design and create
images of jewelry from different
cultures and times, scrap paper for
planning, pencils, assorted pieces
of meltable designer’s plastic (like
Friendly Plastics®) pre-cut into
different shapes, warming tray,
aluminum pans, tools for blending
plastic (paper clips, craft sticks),
yarn cut to lengths for necklaces,
1. Give a brief introduction to
jewelrymaking and how people
from around the world and from
different times have created beautiful objects to adorn themselves.
2. Provide an assortment of pre-cut pieces of meltable designer’s
plastic. Allow students to select
three or four pieces.
3. Distribute scrap paper and ask
students to plan how they would
like to arrange their pieces to create a pendant. Remind students
that they will need to create an
open area to hang the pendant
and that designs with no more
than two layers work best.
4. When a suitable design is
achieved, move the plastics to an
aluminum pan and place the pan
on a warming tray. Adult supervision is required.
5. After a few minutes, the plastic
will soften. At this time, use tools
to whirl, stir, and comb through
the material to create designs.
6. Remove the aluminum pans
from the warming tray and run
cool water over the jewelry to set
7. String the pendant on yarn and
add beads if desired.
How effective is the pendant
By Heather Elliott, a pre-service
art educator at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff,
Introduction to Form High School
The Art Problem
Students will create sculpture that
utilizes organic and geometric
forms. Students will focus on how
positive and negative space can create an interesting work of art.
variety of strings or twines, white
glue, balloons, petroleum jelly
This assignment is an inexpensive
introduction to form and how
three-dimensional space is used in
creating a sculpture.
1. To begin, discuss how round
works of art are viewed from a variety of vantage points.
2. Ask students to bring in a pack
of balloons. Each student should
bring in a different shape or size.
3. Ask students to create three
quick thumbnails by combining
several repeated shapes. Review the
thumbnails and ask each student to
choose the best design.
4. Students should begin their
sculptures by rubbing their balloons
with petroleum jelly so that the
string will not stick.
5. Have students dip string in a
mixture of glue and water and
begin wrapping the balloons. Let
the balloons sit overnight to dry.
6. Pop the balloon and tie the
units together to create a cohesive
Once the pieces are complete,
students can mount the individual
units together to create a large
By Nicole Brisco, an art teacher
at Pleasant Grove High School in
Texarkana, Texas, and a contributing editor for SchoolArts.