Wednesday, May 25, 2011

name aliens

I love doing this project with my second and third graders. It's a great way to teach organic shape and symmetry...creativity and imagination are of upmost importance as well! This is also a great project to do at the end of the year when you feel like you're "losing" the kids--they always perk up when I tell them we're making monsters or aliens.

Start with a folded sheet of paper. To make sure the pieces come out symmetrical and not in two pieces, I tell them to point the FOLD toward their BODY. They then write their names on the paper (if they have a shorter name with extra space, have them use their last initial too).

I then have them draw a contour line around the top of their name. They cut on that contour line.

When they open up their "name", they have a unique organic shape that resembles an alien or monster body. I have them draw details in pencil, trace in black sharpie, then color in marker.

I have students say they make entire "families" of aliens at home (using Mom's name, Dad's name, their dog's name, their brother's name, etc.) This is also great for a "rainy day" project at home or at school.

I know this isn't a new concept or anything, but sometimes it's nice to be reminded of simple lessons that can be pulled out of the "vault" in a pinch for a lesson. It's also a great way to teach symmetry, organic shape, contour line, geometric shape, etc. A win/win if you ask me!


  1. Morning Joanna I loved the post and many of the other posts that you have here on your blog. There are some amazing things that you are doing and sharing. I have shared some of your ideas and projects with some of my colleagues, but was wondering if you have ever thought about joining twitter and some teacher PLN's and sharing your ideas and progress with many others. I think that it would be a great adventure and amazing for other educators.

    Just an idea. Looking forward to your future posts.

  2. These aliens are beautiful.
    I love the colors and patterns.
    Amazing lesson.

  3. These look great. I have done a similar lesson, but mine didn't involve cutting out the shape -- I'll have to try it this way. Thanks!

  4. I love this!! I have done a project similar with my 5th graders that you can see here:
    I like your spin on this and will try it with the younger grades! Thanks!

  5. I like this lesson! I think that with your excellent directions, a sub could teach this one. Hopefully you won't mind that I posted a link to this post in my blog for art sub lessons. jan