Here is a great tinfoil sculpture art lesson which can be adapted to any grade level. It can sometimes be a challenge to find affordable art lessons that are both creative and meaningful for middle school students. Last week my student teacher showed me an art project she worked on at school – tinfoil sculptures. We wanted to combine the elements of both dance and art, so we decided that the tinfoil sculpture should be a person in a dance shape.
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Tinfoil Sculptures Art Lesson
- Tinfoil – one roll per 25 students
- Newspaper (could also use plaster strips, if allowed) for paper mache and to cover desks for easy cleanup
- Paper mache paste or wallpaper paste
- Acrylic or Tempra paint
- Paint brushes, water containers, paint trays
- Sharpie marker
- Review ‘form’ as an element of art
- Review dance shapes or movement forms (twist, bend, stretch, curve, angle, spin, twirl)
- Have students sketch out possible dance shapes for their tinfoil sculpture and get teacher approval before working with tinfoil
- Give each student 1 – 1.5 feet of tinfoil
- Make two cuts 5 inches deep in the top of the tinfoil
- Make one cut at the bottom of the tinfoil, 5 inches deep
- Form the legs of the tinfoil sculpture
- Ensure that either one leg or arm is able to be glued to a piece of cardboard as a stand
- Rip newspaper up into long, thin strips (could also use plaster strips)
- Put newspaper into the paper mache glue, one piece at a time, and smooth it out around your tinfoil person
- Let the tinfoil sculpture dry for 24 – 48 hours, then apply paint after a quick lesson on the colour wheel and colour selection
- Once the tinfoil sculpture is dry, students can add features and details with a Sharpie marker
This art lesson could be differentiated for various grade levels by making the shape and colour selection easier or more difficult.
Art Sketchbook Assignment: Students work on their art projects at different paces. It is important that students have something meaningful to work on when they are done with their art projects, and some of the class is still working. I assign the sketchbook assignment as a yearlong assignment. I divide the school year up into thirds and set 3 different due dates.
This sketchbook assignment is a great tool for students to develop their artistic abilities. It is also really good for fast finishers or to leave for a supply teacher if you are going to be away.
Are you looking for more art ideas?
- Storing Student Art
- Ideas for Teaching Art
- Fast Finisher Activities for Art Class
- Styrofoam Print Making Art Lesson
- Teacher Life Hack – Art Cleanup Tip