5th Grade Name Sculptures

I enjoy a good 3-D project to end the year with my fifth graders who are always excited to start something new.  Last year I did an involved paper sculpture that covered line, color theory, shapes, negative/positive space, and 3-D construction.  This year, keeping those same concepts in mind, I decided to use letters instead of abstract forms.  The sculpture in the end, was abstract, but this became more personal for the students when they were able to include their name in it.

Students used blank note cards to create bubble letters of one of their name.  The name had to be between 5 and 9 letters to ensure there would be enough to make it really 3D and to ensure they’d have time to finish it.  The second step was to use line designs with color theory in mind throughout their letters.  We left some white and colored both front and back of the letters.  Finally, we assembled.  This is taking some adapting here and there.  I use two techniques; I show them how to make a notch in both letters and link them together but if this isn’t satisfying, they can use glue sticks.  Both give tremendously fun results.  When they’ve placed their pieces together in the fashion they’d like, they take a piece of construction paper and cut a fun and unique shape for the base and finally, glue the sculpture down.  This entire process takes about 3 days and leaves room for question time including:

What is negative space?
What is unique about the negative space in each project?
We know these are our names, but what else can you see in your sculpture?
Seeing the end result, would any of you change what you did?
What shape were you expecting to create? Were you surprised?
What color families did you use? Why?

These create great conversation pieces and end the year off on a very educational note


3 responses to “5th Grade Name Sculptures

  1. I found the notecards I had in the room were a bit “flimsy” causing some frustration with assembly, so next time I plan to use regular cardstock in hopes of it being a bit more sturdy.

    • I found concerns in that too so I mixed in different types of paper to see which works better. So far the notecards are flimsy but glue sticks help if needed. Tag board has been more successfully without any glue. 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Name Game: 5th Grade Name Sculptures | Art Class With LMJ·

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