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Paintbrush Rocket | TAA! Pop-up Gardens with Foamy Creatures!
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TAA! Pop-up Gardens with Foamy Creatures!

TAA! Pop-up Gardens with Foamy Creatures!

This lesson is a favorite of mine for 2nd graders, but it works with many ages.  I have used this at the end of the school year as a Mother’s Day gift, with out the foam snake. But for an arts festival display, adding a creature in front just makes the project cuter and more finished.

I start by pre-folding and marking all the turquiose paper with 8 lines.  Students cut all the lines.  Then we open the paper and pop out every other cut section towards the inside.  Then, using ANY kind of paper, cut and glue on a flower garden!  I have done this with painted paper, to give it a little texture, and even just plain construction paper in all the warms and cools can be beautiful!  The more flowers the better! I have students add flowers to the back ground and the pop up sections.

To begin, I recommend starting first with clouds.  Glue them on with the background laying on the table. This gives the collage pieces some support when the glue it setting up, and  gives the students an understanding that the sky/background is laying flat during construction. After clouds, add all the flower stems, then the flowers! If the pop up does not want to stand, the paper is too heavy after gluing and drying, tape a paper roll or two on the back side.


Here is some of our TAA gardens coming together!



I have used the 1/2 inch cushion foam.  Click the link for the best price, a 1/2″ x 40″ x 72″ for $16.80! That is enough to make 48 – 3″ x 20″ snakes!

Foam on Amazon

These next few photos show the foam and chalk part.  When teaching this to students, I will draw the two parts of the snake for them on the foam with Sharpie.  The whole body with head AND the smaller head, which acts as the bottom portion of an open mouth.  I have the students pattern their snakes with the Prang Freart chalks on both sides.  A different type of chalk may work, but this is what I have found most successful.  The tongue and eyes are created with scraps after students have cut out their snakes.  The tongue is put between the two parts of the head and body.  The using either a pipe cleaner or a piece of yarn, are tied together tightly, so that the parts are not able to slip out. Then eyes are hot glued on top! Add any extra details you wish!








Here are some from my first graders!

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