Polish Paper Art
My students just finished their lesson on Polish paper art. The lesson was a great review on symmetry and cutting skills. We looked at a bunch of examples from original Polish folk paper cutting. I talked to the students about how the Polish started making these designs. I explained how the Polish would take hides from animals and drape them over the window opening. Because of the depressing nature of zero sun light, the Polish cut out designs in the animal hides. Hundreds of years later the designs have become extremely complex and are now made out of fabric or paper.
The students started by folding the paper and drawing their symmetrical designs along the fold line. My only requirements were to have an animal somewhere on the design ...and have fun! After they finished their design, the students shaded the area they wanted to keep. A lot of my students thought this part of the lesson was two elementary for their 5th grade level. When the students started cutting, several students came up to me and thanked me for having them shade the area they wanted to keep (It allows you to see what students did and did not grasp the concept... extremely helpful). For the students that had areas they were unable to cut with scissors, I gave them an educated lesson on exact-o knifes. I basically scared the pants off of them with stories of people cutting into their hands. I worked with eight students at a time on a back table so that I could watch all of them. The students did a great job, and I had no cuts :)