Colonial America Stencil Activity

For our Colonial America unit, there are a few fun activities I like to do with my students. These activities were introduced to me by Mela, my 5th grade teaching partner 2 years ago! We do a few Colonial type of activities to help our students gain a bit more perspective on what life was like. We have them make Colonial style hats, sew pockets, create  journals that they bind with string, make homemade ice cream and do a stencil activity with paint.

During the Colonial time, the pineapple was a symbol for hospitality. I had copies of a pineapple stencil ready for each student. I cut rectangular shaped pieces of ivory colored fabric for each student. First, the students cut out the inside of the pineapple. Once they finish cutting it, they taped it on top of the fabric.  Then, they used sponges (I cut up normal sponges into small square pieces) to color in the inside of the stencil. Make sure to tell them to dab lightly. I gave them red, blue and yellow colored paint to use. After they finish painting their stencil, they take off the paper and let the stencil dry.

There are more specific instructions on this website: Colonial America Crafts 

Guest Blog Post: Paper Mache Globes!

Deirdre and I started our international school careers at the same time four years ago here in Seoul. After two years in Seoul, she moved on to India! She is truly living the life of an international school teacher. I currently teach some of her 2nd grade students from her first year at my school, and they always tell me about the fun times they remember from her class!

In grade 4, we love creating, constructing and composing! We also enjoy getting a little messy from time to time. As part of our unit on Canada and cultures from around the world, we made paper mache globes. Students labeled and identified the seven continents and oceans. Below you will find instruction how to create your own paper mache globe …

Directions:
1. Cover all desks with newspaper.

2. Collect old newspapers and have the students tear into long pieces, about one inch thick. Have one student from each group place shredded newspaper on the groups’ desks.

3. Blow up balloons and leave balloons on the student’s desks. You may want to blow up the balloons prior to the activity for younger students. We used heart balloons because it was Valentine’s Day!

4. Create paper mache mixture:

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ white glue (think of Elmer’s glue)
  • 2 cups of water

The measurements may need to be adjusted … you will know when you have it when the mixture is slightly thick. I did this with my students and had a few measure out and add the flour, water and glue. I mixed it until it became thick enough, first with a spoon and then with my hands. Then I modeled exactly how to take the paper mache goop, cover a strip of newspaper and place it onto the balloon. We talked about what the students noticed: that I was calm, that I only placed the goop onto the strip of newspaper and balloon etc. Then I poured the mixture into four bowls (we have four groups) and asked who was ready!?

This activity is best to do on a Friday because it allows the paper mache to dry over the weekend. Then on Monday the students can paint the balloons and let dry for a day or two.

We used acrylic paint:

We used a blank print out of the continents, colored them in, labeled them, cut them out:

Finally, we hung them up in our room!

Happy paper macheing!