The highlight activity for the week was making a paper-mache globe. It was a very messy project, but loads of fun and definitely worth the time and effort.
Here's how we did it:
- 1 round balloon or punch ball, blown up to a diameter of 12" or whatever size globe you would like
- newspaper cut into 1"x10" strips
- plastic table cover or lots of newspaper to cover work surface
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water (separate from the first 4 cups)
- tempera paint: blue, green, and white
- paint brushes
1. Put 4 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. While waiting for water to boil, mix/whisk 1 cup flour with 1 cup water in a bowl.
3. Pour this flour/water mixture into the boiling water, and simmer 2 or 3 minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally, preferably with a whisk.
4. Pour into a 9"x13" casserole and let cool. We cut our newspaper strips while our paste cooled.
5. Dip 1 newspaper strip into cooled paste, squeezing off excess with fingers, and smooth it onto the balloon. Repeat until balloon is covered.
6. Hang to dry overnight.
7. Cover with a second layer and possibly a third.
8. Use a pencil to draw outlines of the continents.
9. Paint with tempera. It will possibly take two coats.
10. Hang once again to dry.
11. If you want, you can have your students label the continents and oceans (or anything else for that matter) with a black sharpie marker.
A whisk helps smooth out the lumps.
Cooling in the Pyrex
The gooey-ness takes some getting used to.
One layer down...two to go!
The kids enjoyed this, and my littlest grew tired of laying on the newspaper strips before we finished.
A couple of tips that we learned while doing this project:
1. Do this on a nice, leisurely day when you have an empty schedule and are under no time constraints if possible. It is a messy project that takes patience on your part and on the part of your children. However, it is fun and rewarding!
2. Our paste mixture got lumpy over time as we were dipping our strips of newspaper in it. To remedy this we had to occasionally stir it with a whisk, sometimes adding a teaspoon or so of water as we whisked.
3. Do not wait longer than a day in between pasting on each layer of newspaper. If you do, the balloon might start to separate from the first layer prematurely, and you'll have a caved-in globe and will have to start over. Can you guess how I know this?
4. If drawing the continents free-hand onto the globe is too much for your students, you can print out continent outlines and cut them apart. Then your student can either color them and glue them on the globe or use them as templates to trace around on the globe and then paint.
This project is not the sort of thing we do very often around here. It takes several days and a lot of patience to complete, but it was well worth our time and effort.
Hope these directions were helpful to some of you!