Serving Art Educators
and Students Since 1994
Submitted by: Speelman, Melissa - Sycamore Junior High Cincinnati, Ohio
Grade Level: Elementary through High School
Use Riso-graph to print off a paper doll outline onto tag board (Or use Saral Transfer Paper if your school doesn't have one). Have the doll shape just about fill up the page - have a generic shape - sort of gingerbread man like. Print instruction to cut out doll on tag board as a reminder. You decide how big to make them. These dolls appear to be cut from about 6" x 9" (15 x 23 cm) paper.
Create a hand out to go with the doll and include that in an envelope.
Distribute the envelopes to all incoming students with the due date clearly stated. Make it fun - and no fail - and all will participate. Grade only on if it was done - or not done.
MAKE a doll yourself! and critique that with those made by the students.
Decide if you want to do awards - make paper award blue ribbons with award in center. Have an affordable prize for each award.
High School Lesson on Personal Identity - Paper Doll Diaries http://kingfishers.ednet.ns.ca/art/grade12/identity/dolls.html
See Art-e-Zine - Paper Art Dolls Notice the use of stamps - you will want to start your own collection. Many links are online for stamps sites - or simply browse the sections at the hobby stores.
Jerri Reimann - Art by Jerri jointed paper dolls
Norma Soulet - Scroll down on her blog on the far right hand column to see her dolls.
Peggy Soloman - click on dolls on her Picture Trail site.
- Jean's Art Dolls | Email Jean if you have questions.
Here's something new I tried this semester. I decided to give my 8th graders an assignment due the first day of class. I gave each student a paper doll with an instruction sheet asking students to create a "representation" of themselves. I emphasized that this assignment could be approached from any direction with any materials.
When students came in the first day of class I asked them to hang their doll on Easels. I gave an introduction to the class and really emphasized developing their own personal expression/creativity. I used the dolls as an illustration of how unique each of the students are and how each approaches a project differently. By giving them each the same starting point (paper doll) each came up with a very unique solution. They loved the assignment. I was a little concerned about how the boys would react to making a paper doll. I called my mom and said, "If I can get the boy who dresses totally in black, black fingernail polish, long black hair in his face, etc. to make a paper doll of himself then I'd say this was pretty successful." And he did make a paper doll of himself- complete with horns.
I had my first semester students paint the envelopes that contained the directions and paper doll. Envelopes were delivered the last day of first semester (my classes are a semester long). I mailed the envelopes of any students who were absent that day. The students said they were very intrigued by the presentation. I was really happy with the results.
From Ken Rohrer:
It will be difficult to interest your male students in dolls unless you present them as characters. If you tell them they are creating characters rather than dolls, they will have more interest. The characters could be from a popular movie, a book they are reading in language arts, or cartoon characters / anim / Marvel Comics heroes.
From Judy Decker:
Some of you might want to try this as a homework assignment for over the summer. Create a doll that communicates your summer vacation - using any materials available. Then when they come in the fall critique them and see if students can guess some of their experiences. As extra incentive to do the project, you may want to include some "gallery prizes" - make some paper blue ribbons with the award written in the center. Ideas: Best of Show - Most Colorful - Most Inventive - Most Narrative - Best Likeness... and anything else you can think of. To award - give select student the ribbons and have them pin them on the "gallery display board". Give students an opportunity to agree or disagree (but offer a different selection). Have the prizes be something cheap that kids like - a candy bar or something like that. Maybe even a slice of real pizza for lunch? (that you would purchase - and order the pizza to arrive at their lunch time - get someone to help distribute the pizza - like guidance counselor?). This might also make a fun "Found Art" Lesson.
From Jackie Aust:
My next thought on this is an end of the year paper doll, students doing a doll based on themselves as artist this year, maybe include a small replica of what they feel is their best piece, along with their personality.
I had a project like that, too, with a little different approach.
First the kids made an outline of a doll according to a standard size. This doll was cut out of cardboard and every student had their own envelope for it. The doll's then got faces and hair, to be an expression of how they saw themselves. (That proved to be very interesting)
Clothes where made with tabs to change at will or for the occasion. Than we made a cardboard facsimile of our school - had school pictures taken with our dolls, graduations, occasions like proms etc. They got instruments or cars, we had boyfriends and girlfriends and even 11 graders where not above this little exercise. That envelope followed the students through several grades. Of course, I also made a doll to represent myself.
Make a fashion doll template yourself and print onto tag board (any size will do - but how about 14 inches (36 cm) tall? fold a legal size paper into 8ths to draw figure) - or have this be a lesson in figure design and have student make their own pattern. Be sure to allow overlapping of shoulder, hip, elbow and knee joints (re-draw arms and legs with the overlap). Here is a sample pattern to follow. Great fun - Get creative and make fashionable animals! See the frog stamp. Try to avoid adding too much details to your naked dollies (or make them with suitable undergarments). See Ken doll for a kid safe male figure (grin).
Dress the dolls with creative Tissue paper/paper fashions - or use fabrics.
Students could even "Warhol it" and design clothes from can good labels. There was a series of Warhol fashions from the 1960s. Add a stick to back of dollies and have a runway show... so many possibilities.
Resource: Paper Doll Drawing Basics by Judy M. Johnson - good tips for success.
Lesson: Collage People
Colored Construction Paper
Card Stock paper
Look through magazine for animal and/or people heads, arms, legs and bodies. Have fun mixing and matching! Create something new!
Cut them out with some extra space and glue them to a piece of card stock paper with a glue stick (or Elmer's). Smooth and LET DRY. The card stock will make your people stronger and better able to more.
Cut out body parts again with card stock paper backing, closer to the edge of your picture.
CAREFULLY use brads to attach body parts together. (Provide an awl to make holes)
On a new piece of paper create a COLLAGE background and attach people to the background. Try mounting figure in relief (using foam core scraps) so arms and legs can move.
Welcome to [Insert class]
Your first assignment:
Use this paper doll cutout and alter it in ANY way so that it represents YOU!
The first day of class (Insert Date)
There are no rules! Just be creative. CUT OUT your doll and put name on back.
Use paint, markers, Crayons, Colored Pencils, dried pasta, Yarn Assortment, Sculpture Wire, Beads, newspaper, magazine, photographs, rocks, make it into a cookie, cut paper, confetti, sequins, Glitter, words/phrases, Felt, Fabric, lace, ribbon, or anything else you may have lying around your house.
On Monday I will set up a little paper doll gallery so that you can share your creation. Creativity is key. Go wild! I look forward to seeing you all Monday with your "Mini-Me’s"! Prizes will be awarded for various categories in our gallery.
Fine arts, art education, design, art teacher, school, illustrator, graphic designer