Mylar, fishing line swivels, duct tape, tons of ribbon, and we got a donation of money for fabric from our schools Parent Teacher Organization in the form of a mini-grant. Other items I ordered (mostly through Nasco) were hula-hoop's, uncoated brazing wire (used for welding, but coat-hanger wire will do.) Very strong string is also helpful. I have a large amount of nylon that cannot be broken with bare hands. I ordered jingle bells and bottle caps as noise makers, and students brought in several items too. I had been saving up a supply of spray paint. You don't need all these things, but I had a list in my head and kept adding to my hidden supply. A hack saw and pruning shears though are really important to have.
Some bonus items were signs left over from the district's funding initiative. Corrugated plastic is great for this project when you need durable pieces that will not wilt in the rain. Students were told to bring in one thing from home to incorporate into their project. Some things they brought were bottles, feathers, umbrellas, plastic spoons and cups, pompoms, old CDs, and more. Attaching items was interesting and required a little thought, sometimes glue was best, other time sewing was necessary, then of couse, Duct Tape.
With all my hording, I did not want students to waste supplies. I have been saving up for at least 3 years... So we began by having each student printing out an image of an item that uses or is influences by the air or wind. No one could do repeats, and this became our inspiration wall.
Setting ground rules is important. Every day I began the class reminding them of my expectations. They really must be repeated daily to keep students focused.
1. All sculptures must be made in such a way that we attach everything to the bamboo outdoors.
Why: Having 25 students working with 12 foot poles and navigating around the room is impossible, and likely a dangerous idea. All items had to be made so they could be simply attached to the poles by tying or duct taping. If they wanted mirrored pieces to put on the pole... it would be too time consuming to glue individual pieces onto the pole... solution, glue pieces onto a ribbon that is then wrapped and tied onto the bamboo.
2. If you take something out, YOU have to put it away. It was also helpful having students work in assigned seats to know who's mess belonged to whom.
3. You must be actively engaged in building during the whole class period. If you needed to wait for something to dry, then you go help someone to make sure everyone could finish at nearly the same time. Construction had to be done outside together. It's not a good idea to have students in 2 different locations while you build, unless you have another adult who can supervise.
For more of my lessons, please read more of my blog, or for printed resources, please visit HERE for 30% off all my books.