Inspired by Alexander Calder

I found this lesson on Dick Blick, and modified it for my students who are much younger than the lesson’s intended students. I drew the shapes on the metallic paper, and the children used air dry clay instead of styrofoam for the base. You can click over to read the lesson, but since I changed it I will include my supply list here (paper, colored wooden beads, and thick wire from Dick Blick).  Check this post for Alexander Calder children’s books.

air dry clay, wire, Twisteez, wooden and plastic beads, metallic paper, white glue, brushes for glue


Inspired by Alexander Calder

chipboard and acrylic or tempera paint OR heavy paper like colored cardstock, Twisteez wire, pipe cleaners, stapler

  1. if using chipboard, let children paint it with a bright color of their choosing- it is for the background…I thought stapling these to a ground might help them not immediately get squashed in backpacks!
  2. model how to connect two pieces of wire, and also how to make a spiral, a curl, a wavy line, and anything else you can think of!
  3. make a large oval with a wire piece, and connect the ends
  4. use wire and pipe cleaners to make parts of the face- I printed pictures of each child so they could lay the parts of their face on top of the photo, then attach the parts to the large oval shape
  5. try not to cut wire until you have attached it to the overall face shape… or you might end up with tons of pieces of wire that are too small to attach
  6. staple to background, and don’t hesitate to staple while children work if it helps them
  7. let them get sidetracked and play with the wire!!


Meet the Artist: Alexander Calder      Sandy’s Circus