Tuesday, June 24, 2014

6th Grade: Foreign Country Stamp Designs

Once the 6th graders finished their Social Studies text book, their Social Studies teacher decided to give them a country to research.  I knew I could fly with this and decided to do stamp designs with the students. During my first year of teaching, I had purchased a package of Roylco Postage Stamp Paper but had never used it.  I dusted off that old package and pulled them out for tracing templates for the students to trace the stamp edge.

This is what I required each stamp to have (or not have!):
1. A border
2. A money amount with the country's currency symbol
3. The country's name
4. A main picture that represents something the country is famous
5. The flag can be incorporated, but it cannot be the main picture by itself.
6. Outline everything in black sharpie.
7. You can use colored pencils, pastels, watercolor pencils and markers.

Would you believe that there were A LOT of students who did not know what was on a stamp!?  When I opened this lesson up, I didn't show students any pictures, but asked if they knew what was on a postage stamp and listed it on the board.  They didn't even know how much a stamp costs!  This of course lead into a conversation about who needs stamps and why people don't pay their bills on-line...oye vey!

Eventually, we got past that conversation and I showed students examples of foreign stamps, both old and new, and then the students got to planning and creating!

France and Iran...these two were probably the best in terms of craftsmanship and proper use of the media.

Turkey and Madagascar...my two other favorites!

Madrid and Iraq...it was really hard for the students who had countries in the Middle East...they all wanted to portray war, which I wouldn't let them do!  No guns, guts, blood, etc is one of my rules...

1 comment:

  1. Cool lesson, and I really like the work the kids did, and the thought that went into their designs. One thought you might want to consider if you plan to repeat this lesson in the future - I used to do poster design projects, and the kids knew I'm super-picky about lettering. We talked a lot about when and if it is OK to mix caps and lower case in the middle of the same word (usually not a good idea), and how to use guidelines for lettering so their size is uniform. With the kids doing so much on a keyboard these days, hand-lettering can be a real challenge. But making those requirements part of your rubric could really take the good work and put it over the top!