Our Pumpkin Book Project: Dogzilla

During the last two weeks of October, my son's third grade class was assigned The Pumpkin Book Project, which is project that transforms a pumpkin into a literary character from the Clutter-Free Classroom. At first, I was slightly annoyed that we had to use the pumpkin theme. I mean, I understand it's October and all but why not just be creative and work from the original book? But, my son was into the idea of working with a pumpkin so I thought, ok, this is his project and not mine. Let's see what we can do.  In the end, I really liked it and our project turned out really cool. My son was so happy with it!

When both your mom and Dad are artists, projects like these can take a life of their own. I say, oh oh ooooh we can do this! and then my husband chimes in and says, yeah yeah yeeeeeah and we can do this, too! And before you know it, we are really into it and our child is fast asleep on the sofa.


In all seriousness, they do help with their own project. I usually let them brainstorm and take part in the planning, they paint backgrounds, help cut out shapes and they are handy with the glue. So I can't totally claim this entire project. Ahem.

Cyan decided that Dogzilla by Dav Pilkey would be his literary character. We love Dog Breath and Dragon Gets By, and Dogzilla is no different! Pilkey's books are age appropriate, funny and really creative. His book choice was a no-brainer for us.

We decided right away that we didn't want to use a foam pumpkin. My idea was for a relief sculpture in cardboard, with each piece mounted on top of each other so it had a 3-D effect much like our Frank Stella project. Luckily, all we had to do was go into the studio and pull elements from past projects that we could recycle. We used a large piece of cardboard (about three feet high and two feet wide) that once served as our display boards for open house, pieces of felt, acrylic paint, paper and a hot glue gun.

We wanted to feature the part of the book when Dogzilla comes out from the cityscape because he lured by the tasty bbq smell that the mice are preparing. My son decided that Dogzilla wasn't being bad, terrorizing the mice. He was just being a dog. The green plume is his toxic dog breath wafting in the breeze. The background is painted, so are the buildings, the pumpkin and the green breath. Everything else is felt (LOVED the wagging pink tongue!) and cut out letters. My only regret is that we should have completely covered the pumpkin shape in grey felt. Then I think it would've looked more like Dogzilla. Also, I think a few mice scattered about would have been really cute!

The cover of the book. We didn't want to use the cover idea, that would be too easy!

That white stuff behind Dogzilla is a plume of smoke. We achieved this by pulling apart a piece of white felt.
How do you think we did?

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1 comment:

  1. Hi!
    My name is Heather and I work for Worth Ave. Group. We’re currently holding a contest for K-12 teachers to win grants for their schools, and iPads or iPods for their classrooms. If you’re interested in participating, feel free to email me or visit the link I’ve posted below.
    Have a great day!


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