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Pumpkin Seed or Recycled Mosaic

As an aspiring art teacher I am hoping to provide others with art activities that they can do throughout the month. Hopefully, those reading will be able to gather some new ideas that they can add to their repertoire. There will be one activity per week categorized by month.

Have fun creating!

Pumpkin Seed Mosaic

This is a great idea for right after halloween, because there is an abundance of seeds after carving all of them. Instead of wasting the inside, you can roast the seeds and use them to create a one of a kind mosaic.

Mosaics are made of tiny colored pieces of stone, pottery, glass or other materials, arranged together and set in plaster or cement to make patterns and images. They can be used to decorate a floor, a wall or in some cases a ceiling.

In the case of your activity, you can have them glue the seeds onto construction paper. If you are working with older children you can have them work with plaster however, you will need them to work fast to place all of the seeds because the plaster dries relatively quickly.

Mosaics have a long history. They were created in Ancient times in Babylon, Egypt, Greece and Rome. When the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum (which were buried under lava when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79) were rediscovered, many wonderful mosaics were found.

To help students formulate ideas and gather a better understanding of what mosaics can look like, create a quick powerpoint of images that you can find. In addition to old mosaics, if you have some in your community, it would be a great opportunity to showcase them.

What you will need:

- Pumpkin Seeds (clean)

- Paint (dark colors) (or food coloring)

- Paint brush

- Shallow container (or zip close baggie)

- Thick paper (poster board)

- Glue

- Pencils

- Wax paper or newspaper

- Plaster (only if using plaster instead of paper for the background)

Step By Step

1. Have students create a quick drawing of what they would like to create as a mosaic. This will help students decide what colours they would like to use, and for older kids, it will allow them to work more efficiently if they are working with plaster.

2. Have students choose a the paint colours that they will require.

3. Put the seeds into a shallow dish, squirt some paint on the seeds and mix the paint around until all seeds are covered in paint. They should do this for as many colors as they need.Alternatively, the seeds can be placed in a zip close baggie with a squirt of paint (or food coloring). Then, the bag can be shaken as the seeds take on the color of the paint or food coloring.

4. Spread the seeds out on wax paper (or newspaper) and let dry overnight.

5. While they are waiting for the seeds to dry, students can draw their picture onto their poster paper.

6. When the seeds are dry, they can be arranged and glued onto the poster paper in the appropriate areas. Or placed into the plaster.

***You can always use dried beans, lentils, popcorn or other types of seeds for this project instead of pumpkin seeds. In fact, if you use dried beans, you can leave them in their natural colorful state (black eyed peas, red kidney beans etc). Finally, you can also use a lot of other materials for this type of project. If you're unable to find the above try using recycled materials, buttons, beads, bottle caps.


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