Earth Day activity: Make a globe

Hi, this is Joelle Meijer. The environment is a subject close to my heart
and to celebrate Earth Day, I have a very special project : a giant Earth. To create the Earth you will need a giant
spherical balloon; by giant balloon I mean that inflated, the balloon should be around
3 feet in diameter. For this project you will be using the paper
mache technique. You will need old newspapers and glue. You can use wallpaper paste or diluted white
glue. Start by cutting or tearing off strips of
newspaper. As the Earth is going to be quite big, you
will need a lot of paper. Then, mix the glue. Wallpaper paste may come
in a bucket already mixed and ready to use or as a powder that you have to dilute. A large project like the Earth is really an
ideal project to make with a group. Inflate the balloon and put it on a stable
base. Dip the newspaper strips into the glue, remove
the excess glue and glue the strips on the balloon. Glue them so they are not all in the same
direction. Gluing the paper strips in different directions
makes the paper mache stronger. To ensure that the Earth is sturdy enough,
put several layers of paper mache and let dry after each layer. Try to maintain the balloon covered with paper
mache in an environment with a more or less constant temperature. I experimented with drying paper mache in
the sun to go faster and that was not a good idea. Indeed, the heat causes the air in the balloon
to expand and it cracks the paper mache. Then, when you put a second layer of paper
mache over it, that cools the air in the balloon and the
paper mache forms ripples. When you have put enough layers of paper mache,
let dry completely. When it’s dry, the Earth should be firm enough
to touch and paint. Start by painting the Earth completely blue. As you can see, I used a large tube to support
the Earth. It’s very convenient to be able to turn the
Earth in all directions and paint the different sections. When you have painted the Earth completely
with blue paint, draw the different continents. The idea is
to get as close as possible to reality, but it’s OK if you don’t get the proportions
exactly right. Before painting the continents green, paint
them with white paint. Green paint is quite transparent and it would
take several coats of green to cover the blue paint completely. The white paint will hide the blue paint and
it will help bring out the green paint. You can use tan or brown paint to represent
deserts or mountains that are found everywhere on Earth. As I said above, this big project is ideal
as a group activity. In addition, the students learn to work together
and to respect each other’s work. This is a good way to develop team spirit
and mutual support. When you’re finished, you can add a coat of
acrylic varnish if you want. The varnish will protect your work. Now that you have finished the Earth, you
will work on the stand. Take a tube like the ones used for pouring
concrete and cut the height you need. The tube I used is about 2 feet high but I
could have made it higher. Paint it in a colour of your choice. I painted my tube brown because I visualized
the tube as a tree trunk and the Earth like foliage that absorbs carbon
dioxide and produces oxygen. Oxygen is a source of life for us and our
planet. Place the Earth on the painted tube. Ask each
student in your class or your school to trace their forearm and hand on a sheet
of coloured paper. Cut out the forearm and hand with scissors
and glue all the arms around the tube. Glue them on different levels with all the
hands visible as if they were holding up the Earth. The message here is that together we can make
a difference in our environment. By choosing different colours for the hands,
I wanted to symbolize human diversity around the Earth. You can also trace the forearms
and hands on white paper and let the students decorate their project
in an original way. Don’t forget to send me pictures of your giant
Earth project so that I can share them on my blog. To access the free document with the step
by step instructions of this project, click on the link below the video!


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