Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inside 103 Orchard: Students Experiment with Creative Re-use

At our new Visitor and Education Center, 2nd and 3rd grade students visiting the Tenement Museum for our Meet the Residents program can tap into their own ingenuity to make something from nothing. During a new activity called Creative Re-use, students are inspired by the resourcefulness of the immigrants who lived in 97 Orchard Street. A puppet made from a sock, a rug made from rags and even a scooter made from a crate and some wood scraps serve as examples of the ways former residents creatively reused what they had to make the things they needed. 

Doll in a stylish striped poncho

As the students sit comfortably in our bright, brand-new classrooms, they have the opportunity to creatively r-euse discarded materials and transform them into masterpieces. Using items from the recycling bins at the Museum and donations from Materials for the Arts, New York City’s ultimate reuse center, along with lots of imagination, students have been busy making toys and games.

As they work, students consider how they can creatively reuse the things around them. Recycling bins become treasure troves, scraps become dolls, puppets, airplanes, and even angry birds and Pokémon characters.
A see-through polka-dot airplane

It’s been quite amazing to see the students’ resourcefulness and even more remarkable to watch them curiously look around with wonder at the possibility of making something from nothing.

--Posted by Miriam Bader, Director of Education

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