How to Teach Sculpture in Key Stage 2
So you’re teaching A 3D (solid) piece of artwork. in Key Stage 2 – what next?
The National Curriculum Sketching lines and marks to help plan the scale and shape of the object you are drawing… are minimal and use the word ‘sculpture’ with an example of ‘clay’. But working in three dimensions has many opportunities for creative work within the art curriculum. You can create 3D art from so many different materials, and there are some great examples of this in the Key Stage 2 Kapow Primary lessons, using recycled materials (bottle tops) when celebrating sculptural creations inspired by El Anatsui, or creating messages with card and paper as the artist Sokari Douglas Camp does.
What materials do I need to teach A 3D (solid) piece of artwork. in Key Stage 2?
There are many low cost materials that can be used for A 3D (solid) piece of artwork., including;
- balsa wood
- card board boxes
- and art straws
All you need are;
- good scissors
- tapes to join and The form of an object..
- Plastic bottles are a great resource too as they can be safely used to make all sorts of interesting shapes and designs in 3D form.
Storage can be an issue with 3D work so make sure that you photograph work and process so that children can have a record in their sketchbooks to put next to their sketches and designs for their sculptures. They will willingly take their final creations home to share in the home gallery space!
Malleable materials for sculpture
Clay is a lovely ‘hands on’ The practical knowledge we gain after partaking in an event or occurrence…. for young people, just think of those wonderful moments growing up when you created with plasticine, play dough, and mud. Clay work can be low relief A 3D (solid) piece of artwork., such as tiles, or modelling and building The form of an object. and form with clay, such as a container or pot or piggy A company that looks after your money and gives you money loans that you have to pay back….
Clay that does not need to be fired to dry it is useful in the primary classroom, although some people find it fibrous and more difficult to work with. But it means you don’t need a kiln to fire the clay, as it can be modelled, dried and then painted. However, if you link with your local secondary school you might be able to use their kiln, which means you could then work with stoneware (grey) or earthenware (red) clay, which is also cheaper to buy.
Paper mache (from the French words papiere mache) is a cheap and effective material too. Here wallpaper paste and shredded newspaper can be used to create shapes moulded around objects such as balloons (face/mask/bowl) or a bottle (cup/vase/pencil pot). Children work with a wet but malleable material in layers and enjoy the haptic senses of such a ‘hands on’ activity. When the layers are dried, paint can be applied, or coloured tissue paper, and if you make the last layer from white paper (cheap A design is made on a surface which can then be transferred using ink… paper or newsprint) it is easier to paint on top of.
A 3D (solid) piece of artwork. for purpose
In KS2 children should be more aware of the purpose of art craft and design, so creating A 3D (solid) piece of artwork. and 3D work which has purpose shows an awareness of the creative and cultural industries. The Kapow Primary lesson where children develop their Käthe Kollwitz was an early twentieth-century German artist who worked with painting, printmaking (including etching, lithography, and woodcuts) and sculpture. She was born in 1867 and died in 1945. Her work portrays human suffering, she lived through wars and her own son died in World War 1. She was a Realist and Expressionist. Expressionists and Bauhaus… inspired drawings into sculptures for the Fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square is a great example of this. They will ‘see’ their design and sculpture in context. Also, studying the history of the art that has been used for the Fourth plinth is a great way to develop their understanding and appreciation of the art form.
Sometimes, teachers steer away from 3D work because of time and space Prohibiting or limiting full access to something, but it is an essential part of the art curriculum and there are always ways to introduce it, and you can work very small scale if need be. But, if you do want to think big….explore the outdoor spaces, make sculpture in the style of Andy Goldsworthy is a contemporary environmental artist known mainly for his sculptural work. He creates sculptures using natural materials, such as brightly coloured flowers, icicles, leaves, mud, pinecones, snow, stone, twigs, and thorns. His work is usually temporary and is photographed to record it. His work is known as land art. His inspiration comes from nature itself… with autumn leaves, twigs that have fallen from trees, stones and pebbles etc. Why not do some yarn bombing around the school fence (with Allowing somebody to do something once they have asked first…. of course) and shadow sculptures on a sunny day (create a sculpture from anything and then photograph its shadow or draw around the shadow)? Make plastic shapes from bottles (jellyfish for example) and hang from a tree branch or a lamp post within the school grounds. Ask the children to become human sculptures and then photograph the result. Art can be great fun as well as great learning.
Go for it!