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Monday, 15 October 2012

Spooky Mobile

Here is the first in a series on Halloween, Bonfire Night and Autumn themed arts and crafts lesson plans to inspire a creative curriculum. I hope that you find them useful.

Brief Description:
Students will exercise their scissor-skills, learn a few things about balance,motion and movement whilst they create their own unique Autumn themed mobile.
Mobile, movement, Halloween (and word related such as ghost, witch, pumpkinetc), spooky, autumn, kinetic,
Alexander Calder
Materials Needed:
Paper, card, pencil, wool or thread, watercolours or felt tip pens,templates, cello tape and pipecleaners

The Hanuted house will make the main feature of the mobile. Ensure this is drawn on card or heavy weight paper
 1. On a piece of paper, plan out the design of your mobile. Think about what your theme is going to be and what objects, images etc you want hanging from the bottom of the mobile. For example you could choose to make a tree with lots of leaves hanging off the branches. These could all have a different words for Autumn written on them; or you could have your central piece as the horn of life with harvest festival items hanging from below. For the purposes of this worksheet I have chosen to work on a haunted house theme.
Sketch out your central piece using a pencil on a piece of card. For my mobile this will be a haunted house.
The children can be encouraged to drawn their own characters as I have above, alternatively you can google clip art to get ideas
2. Sketch out your objects that will be hanging from your central piece on a piece of card. I have chosen to use a witch, a bat and a ghost. You can have as many items hanging as you like but try to think about the balance of the piece and where they are going to hang. If you have a large shape on one side and a small shape on the other the mobile will hang crooked.
I have chosen to have a ghost, a bat and a witch for my mobile
3. For my mobile I have chosen to use water colour paints to add colour. There are lots of mediums you can use such as felt tip, coloured pencils, oil pastels, crayons and even collage materials – the choice is yours.
My witch on a broom stick will hang under the spooky house

I used watercolours to paint my house but you can use any medium
4. Once the pieces are all coloured cut them out ready for assemblage.On the back of all of the hanging items secure a piece of wool with some cello tape. You can staple these on but using cello tape leaves no marks on the front image of the mobile. Using a ruler find the centre point of your main piece (the house) and mark with a dot. Secure one of your hanging objects using cello tape where the dot is.
Cello tape the hanging piece to the back of the house
5. Once again using a ruler measure the distance between the centre of the main piece (the house) to the left edge. Half the distance and mark with a dot. Secure one of the remaining hanging piece to the spot you have marked with a dot. Repeat this process on the other side.
Completed Haunted House mobile
6. Finally add a piece of wool to the top to enable you to hang your mobile. Using cello tape secure the remaining two hanging piece to the dot marks you have made.


Key stage 1: You can use pre cut shapes ortemplates for younger children to colour and cut out. This is a great activityto practice scissor skills, however if you are making a spooky themed mobilethe children can rip and tear the images out giving your rough edges – addingto the effect. Painted hand prints upside down with a pair of google eyes makeexcellent ghosts – give it a try.

Key stage 2: Why not extend the mobile by addingone of more layers to the hanging section? This can be done by cello tapinganother shape to the bottom of the shape above. Once again you have tocarefully think about weight distribution and balance. If you make one side toheavy the mobile will tilt. Instead of using string why not use pipecleaners toattach the hanging images. You can bend the pipecleaners into lots of differentpositions so the hanging images don’t all hang in the same direction.
Analternative method of adhering the hanging images to the central image could beto use a hole punch and tie the hanging images in place using wool.

Gifted and Talented: Think about the use of symmetry withthe mobile design. Imagine there is a mirror held in the centre on the image,both sides should look alike and mirror each other. You can make the sameshapes to hang each side with maybe a slight colour change. Consider colouringand working on both sides of the images so as the piece spins around presentinga 3D feel to the mobile.
Consideradditional impact such as cutting out the windows of the house, having a doorthat opens etc to create areas of interest to your mobile and make it standout.
This is an alternativeidea for the mobile.
Acrostic poem idea
Additional idea:
Why not use this mobile making activity as a creative writing tool?
 You could link this activity to a class project. I have mocked up a version of a mobile based on the theme of Autumn. I have drawn a wellington boot as the central image with a puddle underneath and my poem forming the splashes. I assembled my mobile using pipecleaners which allowed me to bend the pipecleaners to make it look like the boot was jumping in the puddle. I have then used the word “puddle” to make an acrostic poem, writing each word onto a separate piece of card. These pieces have been attached individually underneath the puddle. These look great as part of a wall display.

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