This past week, my grade 6's made Tipis! We are currently studying First Nations of Canada, and we were learning about what people used to live in. I remembered that I had meters and meters of a thick, canvas like fabric. So the next day, I brought everything in and we got to work!
In the computer lab, we researched various First Nation's drawings and
symbols, and students used a blank template to draw up an idea of what
they wanted to put on their Tipi. Then, they cut out their Tipi shape
using a template I found here.
Using Sharpies and paint, they colored in their designs. When they were
finished, they used four pieces of plasticine (how authentic) and
arranged 4 twigs in a Tipi shape (I think traditionally three were used
as a base, but we needed four for support.)
Using thin wire, they attached the sticks together. They fit the Tipi shape to their sticks, then gently removed it so they could lightly stitch it together. When it was all stitched, they slid it over the sticks, and their Tipi was DONE!
Students with extra time were allowed to use the materials in the class to make decorations - firepits, paths, and log stacks. Many of them told me it was their favorite art project we've ever done, and we did it all using stuff I already had in my class. I'm so proud!