Saturday, January 7, 2012

O Little Town. . . in a Formula Can

I know this is kinda late to post as it is a Christmas project to do in the classroom (or at home), but I just can't wait until next year to do it! And it turned out so nice, so. . .here you go!

My "inspiration" for this project came from two places. One, I had a collection of formula cans sitting in my basement collecting dust. (I'm dutch or thrifty. . .take your pick! I can't throw away something that could be useful!) Two, I found these cute printables that I thought HAD to be used for something good!
So, here is what I did. . .I took a project that I had done every year, and changed it into a 3D storytelling can. Here is the 3D version of "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

 Unfortunately, I can't find a picture of a finished project right now. . .but below is the general idea. The kids would either paint or use pastels to make the night sky. Then we would make the town of Bethlehem as a silhouette, glue it on, and put starts in the sky--by way of shiny stickers, stamps or paint. For this project, I did all that still, but instead of just mounting them on a black background and hanging them up on the wall, we put them on a can. Check it out:

You can use formula cans, hot chocolate or coffee cans. . .whatever.

I did this project in small parts, mostly with the help of parent helpers in the classroom or as a centre activity here and there. The first part was paining the sunset background. We talked about blending the colours together to make a night sky.
 The second part was making the town of Bethlehem. We read the Bible story and looked at some picture Bibles as well to get an idea of what kinds of houses and inns Mary and Joseph might have seen the night they came to Bethlehem. Then we drew them. Below is my "instructions" for a Centre activity.
 Once we had glued the "town" onto the background, we cut the background to the size of the can and glued it onto the can. (Next time I might first cut the papers to the size of the can as a bunch of the colours that that kids mixed to make the sunset background got chopped off. It still looks fine, but I would rather see more colours!)
 Here are the kids gluing the backgrounds onto the cans.
 And holding the edges together to make sure it stuck in place!
 Here are the cans resting until the next step.
 Next we added wire to the top as a handle for the cans. . .and to use as a place to have our Bethlehem star hang from.

 A bunch of the cans with the wires on them. . .the cardboard cans were easier--obviously. I used a hammer and nail for all of them and the kids put the wires through, but I had to actually work at getting a hole in the metal ones!
 Then we punched out some stars with a craft punch, glued two together at the ends of some yellow embroidery floss
 Then tied a bow. . .and there is a hanging Bethlehem star.
 There are no pictures of it, but at a centre, we cut out these printables, and glued them on to strips of construction paper folded in half in order to stand up. These we stored in out cans. We also added 4 Popsicle sticks used to make the outline of a stable, three wise men, and a pasture for the shepherds.
 Each year in class we have a booklet of the Christmas story. Each page has the story in an "easy-to-read" form and a space to create a directed-drawing picture. These books became more meaningful this year, as the kids were able to read their story along with their project. After each page read, the kids would get to "act out" the story using their characters and their town of Bethlehem. They LOVED it!
 We practiced reading it together and acting it out as a whole class. Then, they got to team up with their grade three buddies and read/ tell the story of Christ's birth.
 Below if a "final" scene from one group.
We will see if I can do this project again next year. . .with no more formula in the house. . .I need to start drinking a lot of coffee and hot chocolate in order to save up enough cans!

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