Having finished constructing the letters with stiff paper, tape, and scissors, they have moved on to the next step: enveloping their structures with paper and glue (“papier maché”). This messy but precise process aims to strengthen the sculptures and give a kind of ‘skin’ to their letters. Each team of three had to practice aspects of the paper mache process and then divide up the tasks according to their strengths. In the end, all the 3rd graders’ letters will be combined to create a phrase focused on the central idea of their first unit and visually reflective of those images, ideas, thoughts, fantasies, and passions particular to 3rd grade.
Here are some Third Graders at work with paper mache: