Paper Mache Snakes with Phillip Martin
Lesson Plan
Learner Outcomes: .................................................... ....................................................
Color: Understand that warm colors advance and cool colors recede
  Understand that shades and tints have value (tone)
  Realize that colors are placed in order on the color wheel
Texture: Appreciate that texture is used to enhance realism
Appreciate that texture is used to enhance aesthetics
Form: Appreciate that Art encompasses a variety of 3D forms using various media
  Understand that form should follow function
Materials: lots of seedpods from flame trees (Okay, you can use clothes hangers.)
  many rolls of masking tape
  piles of newspapers
25 Styrofoam plates
  25 scissors
  100 bottle caps
  paper mache paste
  25 number 1 brushes
  25 number 10 brushes
  acrylic paint for each primary color, white, and black
  fixative acrylic spray
  glue for decorations like felt tongue or glitter
Vocabulary: Warm and Cool colors, Shades, Tints, Texture,

Wire clothes hangers could be used as the starting point for the snakes, but the seedpods from the flame tree make much more delightful slithering snakes. Have kids work in twos to create the shape. So, in one lesson they can make a snake for one person and in the second lesson they can make the snake for the second person.

Begin by using masking tape to join about four seedpods together into an appropriate slither about a yard long. ( Or . . . flatten two metal clothes hangers. Tape them together and twist them to the desired snake slither.) Wrap the body of the snake with newspaper and then apply more masking tape to secure the paper.

To make the head, fold a Styrofoam plate in half. The small square ones are best, folded diagonally. However, rectangles can be used. (If they break, staple or tape them together and continue.) If necessary, use scissors to trim the shape of the head properly. Apply a small amount of wadded up paper to the top of the head to give it shape. Hold it in place with masking tape. Then, attach it to the body with masking tape.

To make the eyes, students can tape two bottle caps together with the jagged edges facing each other. Then, the eyes should be placed on the head with - what else? - masking tape.

Shred newspaper into pieces about one inch by two inches or smaller for more intricate places like around the eyes. Dip the paper in the paper mache solution and then cover the entire body of the snake. Every staple and all masking tape must be covered. It is important to have the paper applied without wrinkles. All edges of the paper should be even with the surface. It will dry hard. If some pieces need smoothing out, it can be done in the next session.

Use acrylic paint to color the snakes. Paint the entire snake with two coats using the larger brushes (in two periods) before adding detail. Use smaller brushes for the details. Good painting cannot be rushed. Be sure an area is dry before adding color. Yellow paint applied next to wet red will create unwanted orange. When all the painting is finished, spray the snakes with acrylic fixative. When, completed, add felt tongues or other accessories as decoration.

Copyright 2000, revised 2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.