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“Wizard of Oz” Backdrop


Project Details

Facilitating Creative Participation through Artistic Expression.

Lesson Plan Ideas

Developed by: Children’s Creativity Specialist, Stephie Morton

Teaching techniques and strategies (Also see Steps below):

  1. Establish purpose and create an environment that invites curiosity.
  2. Build internal motivation.
  3. Develop a successful process.

“I am especially touched by the remarkable benefits I saw in our 6th graders who participated in creating the backdrop for the 6th grade musical production of The Wizard of Oz. Students who were reluctant to participate in acting and singing, took great pleasure and pride in creating the backdrop for the musical. It was beautiful to see second language learners, special needs students, reluctant learners, and introverts put their creative energy to work to create a masterpiece. They gained not only self-esteem from their incredible work, but also, the high regard of their classmates.

Tommi Sue Cox
Principal, Laurel Elementary
Ft. Collins CO

Favorite Pacon® products included in this project:
    • Fadeless® Paper – Solids and Metallics
    • Rainbow® Colored Kraft
    • Spectra® Art Tissue™
    • Cellophane Wrap
    • Poster Board
    • Corobuff® Sheets
    • Construction Paper

Steps

  1. Establish purpose and create an environment that invites curiosity Present a concept that shows respect for and belief in students’ creative abilities. (Creating the backdrop for the play feels worth the effort.)Provide research materials that reflect an appreciation for many styles of artistic interpretation. (I had a lot of luck gathering images from the internet, everything from the original 30s illustrations to a contemporary mosaic of the Emerald City.)

    Display a colorful array of materials in an accessible display.
    Flat cardboard bins present an appealing way to organize scraps.

  2. Build internal motivation Provide opportunity for CHOICE. (Students began by viewing the movie and then drawing their favorite scene. The best parts of these drawings became the category they felt most comfortable interpreting on the backdrop.

  3. Develop a successful process Select a process that allows students to achieve success through self-mastery, NOT peer competition. Torn paper collage, because of its playfulness and unpredictability, releases concern for failure and provides a foundation for taking risks, necessary for creative expression.

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    Tips:

    • Plenty of individual table space helps students concentrate and, literally and figuratively, spread out their ideas.
    • Large manila envelopes help students keep track of all the pieces of their work in progress.
    • Push pins into the foam core backing allow students to visualize and rearrange the design before attaching permanently.
    • Low-heat, hot glue stations at each table are the way to go. Students master the skill easily and the frustration factor is nil because attachment is immediate and universal to all light weight materials.
    • Backdrop paper was hot glued to eight separate sheets of 40”X60” foam board. This made the backdrop modular for easy storage and very light weight.

    Option 2:

    Instead of individual panels, have an entire class create a 3-dimensional city.

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