Time to start creating the shadow boxes! And by "time to start" I of course mean that I'm just now posting this, 11 months later, so the shadow boxes have long been completed and those students aren't even in 7th grade anymore, but anyway...
Each student will be creating a shadow box to showcase elements of their chosen conflict. The boxes will be made of wood, about 3 inches deep, with a plexi-glass front. All parts of the box (ideally) will be decorated with important people, places, dates, and ideas that relate to their conflict.
While I was available, I was able to give the students techniques that would help them create dynamic, layered, 3-dimensional pieces to go inside their boxes.
My shadow box was on the American Revolution (below). I created several paper examples of how to make 3-dimensional elements and left them on the project wall for students to inspect at their leisure. I used several of these techniques in my shadow box.
Layering images was an important part of this project. For this technique, we used watercolor markers and sharpies to create a basic image, and then bled the marker lines with wet paintbrushes to create a watercolor effect. These translucent images were then glued to related text from old history books or dictionary pages. This is similar to the conflict project from last year.
With each example I demonstrated, I felt like I was on a cooking show: I would mix the ingredients and put it into the oven and then look, it's already done! I needed an example of each stage of the technique ready to show the students so we wouldn't have to spend time watching paint or glue dry. In the end, this proved doubly useful, because I could showcase all steps of the technique on the project wall for students to see.
This was my favorite example piece that I did. I wanted to show students that their own words could be used to make powerful art. I took a paragraph that a student had written about their Hunger Games project, and created an element that would be effective in a shadow box.