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Making a Junk Sculpture


Children construct sculptures from recycled junk and design their own litterbags.
  • Reading Is Fundamental, written by Sue McCleaf Nespeca and Joan Reeve
  • Arts and Crafts
    • 3-5
    • 6-8
  • Multiple
  • Indoor
  • Play

Materials: I Stink by Kate and Jim McMullan; Recycled "reusable" junk such as tissue rolls, paper towel tubes, straws, egg cartons, small boxes, plastic, pieces of fabric, ribbon, yarn, rickrack, empty spools, buttons, foil, etc.; One cardboard shoebox per child; Large paper grocery bags with one side free of advertisements; Colored markers; Crayons Stickers White glue

Time Required: 45 minutes Set up Cover tables with plastic table cloth.

Give each child a cardboard shoe box, a large grocery bag, and white glue. Assemble junk on another table so children can pick items they wish to use. Place colored markers, crayons, stickers on a different table for sharing. Directions Share the book I Stink by Kate and Jim McMullan. Talk about items that go into trash for the garbage truck and which items can be recycled in your area. Which of the items in the story could be recycled, reused, or composted? Stress the importance of reducing the number of items we throw away since adding recyclables to the trash for the landfill is harmful for our earth. Have children make a "junk" sculpture by gathering "junk" in the shoebox and then gluing items to the inside of the shoebox lid. Children can use one type of "junk" or a combination and may decorate it with colored markers, crayons, or stickers when finished. Ask children to make litterbags for recyclable items. Children can decorate their grocery bags with colored markers, crayons, yarn, or rickrack. You may also want to... Review information (which you supply) that explains the importance of recycling and encourages families to have containers for recyclable items. Keep the childrens recycling bags at home or in their vehicles, and use them to recycle items or avoid littering.

Families may learn more as they play games and explore with Web sites such as Community Connection. Visit a city "dump" or a landfill with the children if possible to see why we must all learn the importance of recycling. Invite a local representative of a recycling center to come and speak on the importance of recycling. Check with the local Extension Office to see if they have brochures about "Reduce, Reuse, or Recycle." Ask if a garbage truck can visit your site, so children can view the various mechanisms on the vehicle. This will be a multi-sensory experience as they see the truck, hear its noises, and smell the garbage. Adaptations I Stink contains an alphabet of items the garbage truck "eats." If possible, make these items out of poster board. The children can color them if you wish. Then make a poster-board garbage truck with a large "slit" cut at the mouth of the garbage truck. Attach a small garbage bag to the other side of the mouth to "catch" items eaten. Give each child one of the items and when you call off the items, the child can come up front and slip the item in the garbage trucks mouth. If time permits, have children come up with another item the garbage truck could "swallow" for each letter of the alphabet.

Related Resources Web Sites: Explore "Recycle City," and the "Dumptown Game": http://www.epa.gov/recyclecity/mainmap.htm Books McMullan, Kate and Jim. I Stink! HarperCollins, 2002. Zimmerman, Andrea and David Clemesha. Trashy Town. HarperCollins, 1999. Dan Yaccarino, Illustrator. * Some of the above description for this activity is from Picture Books Plus: 100 Extension Activities in Art, Drama, Music, Math and Science, written by Sue McCleaf Nespeca and Joan B. Reeve. 2003 by the American Library Association.

Making a Junk Sculpture