In a time when Art funding in many schools can be hard to come by, teachers need to get creative and resourceful. This project was a win-win situation situation for me since I was trying to figure out what to do with all the cardboard boxes left over from Christmas, and some of my students wanted to make large pieces.
I broke the boxes down, and gave students the task of taking the flat pieces of cardboard and making a sculpture that is interesting to view from every angle: front, back, left, right, and above. They could make it as big or small as they wanted and could make it representational or non-objective. We had begun our week by discussing the term "sculpture in the round" (as opposed to "relief sculpture") and varying degrees of flatness. They had each taken a flat piece of foil and manipulated it into a 3D form as a warm- up exercise.
Then students got busy picking up pieces of cardboard and trying to figure out ways to make it attach to other pieces. They made slits for pieces to slide together at right angles, used colored tape, and hot glue to make their pieces as well constructed as possible.
Pieces of cardboard were painted with acrylics or with spray paint before (or after) assembling them permanently. And when needed, new pieces were cut, painted and attached.
Some added pattern to the surface using regular or metallic markers. These pieces took up a lot of surface space in our room, but luckily only 14 students were given the assignment. There were a few set backs, like the student, who made a chair from flat pieces of styrofoam, and found the foam melted when sprayed with gold paint. We chalked it up to part of the learning process and started again with cardboard. In the end they were so pleased with the results.