Wednesday, October 21, 2009

History project mosaics

I think I might have already posted the activities below (we already did them a couple months ago). We did them again yesterday because our History book had 2 pages on "The Arts". Travis reminded me we don't "write about arts" we are the kind of people who "Do the Arts" (he is so cute I love him so much). Some of the arts popular in the time period we are learning about is wood carving and mosaics. We did 2 mosaic art projects for History class yesterday.

The first project was paper mosaics. I know paper mosaics is nothing new. I remember making a lot of them in art class when I was a child. We did them yesterday because we already had all the supplies ready to make them. We had a ice cube tray of colored paper cut in squares in our craft cupboard (left overs from the last time we did this project). I gave each child a large sheet of paper, the colored squares, a tiny cup with glue, and a few Q tips to apply the glue. I let them make mosaics however they wanted.

Below is Zee's finished mosaic.

Here is Demi's finished mosaic.
And this is Travis'. He named it A Sunny Day.

While they worked on making paper mosaics I got busy getting ready for the second project. I got out a large pot, sugar, corn syrup, and a candy thermometer and started to make some candy. I am sorry to say yesterday I made a BAD batch of hard candy (not my first time making a bad batch of candy this happens 1/4- 1/2 the time I make candy). I love making candy art but I often mess it up. This batch was thick and dark. It still tasted fine but it didn't spread out as thin as I would have liked it.
After the kids finished making paper mosaics I cleared and washed off the table (I put the candy in the freezer to cool faster). The children then got busy making candy mosaics. I got this idea a few months ago when I was trying to find a fun way to "do history" (we like to try to do a lot of what we learn about in school) to keep it fun. My first idea was to make real mosaics but I didn't want to have my youngest children touch sharp pieces of broken glass or ceramics. My second idea was to use tiles to make real are pieces from glass or ceramic tiles. My hubby works at Lowes so I am waiting for him to buy us some tiles to do that project. I really wanted to figure a cheap, fun, and easy way to make mosaics. I really want to make real mosaics but I will have to wait until we have the extra money and until Rob remembers to buy them. Back when we made our rock candy pops (we called it rock crystals to use for science) I started trying to think of other school projects we could do with candy. The children wanted me to make normal hard lollipops. I thought maybe if I poured hard candy on a tray (not in normal candy pop trays) I might be able to make candy sheets to break up and make our own candy mosaics with. I think over all my idea was a good one. I can't say my children made beautiful mosaic art (beautiful to me yes but perhaps not to the rest of the world). It was an easy to make project and fun (and tasty) to make. I will admit that it is 100% sugar project so I am sure many people might not want to try it.

I wanted to make it 100% edible so I had the children make some icing by mix a tiny bit of water in some confectioners sugar to use for the mortar to hold our tiles (candy glass). They spread out the icing on some wax paper.

Next they covered the candy sheets with wax or parchment paper and hit it with a hammer to make tiny glass tiles.
With 3 children all taking turns breaking up candy with a hammer it didn't take long before the table was covered in candy and starting to fall on the floor. To keep the mess from going all over the house I put all the candy in a flat dish.

The one below is the one Travis made. If you turn your head down to the right you might be able to see he made a person with his candy glass tiles.

This is the look I get when I take the candy away! LOL!NOTE! The candy was a bit sharp on the edges. I made sure my smallest child didn't get any with sharp edges. I was worried she might cut her mouth with the sharp ones. I just want you to know that before you make this with little children. I think if I would have spread out the pieces on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put them in a hot oven for a minute they would have melted a bit and not been so sharp on the edges. If we ever do this again I will give that a try and let you know if it works. I made a large batch of candy so I found more than enough pieces without sharp pieces for her to eat and create with.

1 comment:

Rockin' Moroccan Mama said...

Amber what an AMAZING idea. That is sooo cool.