When Pigs Fly

Photograph of Georgia by Christy Berry

Photograph of Georgia by Christy Berry


Next week my high school students will be creating their own flying pigs.  I wrote about my flying pigs in 2011.  My co-worker wants a “Michigan” pig.  Now, not a pig about Michigan but a University of Michigan pig.  I’m not sure that would fly in my household but they are flying pigs, so anything could happen.  I have written down a formal lesson plan for those who would like to purchase the lesson including which benchmarks are addressed.  Click here to be connected to the lesson.  And remember when pigs fly creativity happens!


Mrs. Berry

When Pigs Fly Creativity Happens!

Photograph of Georgia by Christy Berry

I was inspired by Phyl’s idea of using flying pigs.  I thought I would try it with my seventh grade students. We are using the idea of the phrase, “When pigs fly.” I am using this idea because pigs are flying in art room and we can create anything! Right now my seventh grade students are up to their elbows in glue and papier-mâché. We are having a blast creating our pigs.

 For this lesson you need the following things:

  • Balloons (several just in case some deflate over night or pop)
  • Glue and water (get a consistency of sticky but still like a liquid
  • Masking Tape (careful when placing this on the balloon, it might pop when you take it off)
  • Egg cartons (you need five sections: 4 for the feet, and one for the nose)
  • Wings and ears can be made out of flimsy cardboard or the other half of the egg carton
  • Acrylic paint or house paint (base coat)
  • Tempera or acrylic paint (details)
  • Brushes (house paint brushes and regular artist brushes)
  • Wire (telephone is colorful) for the tail and hanging
  • Paper clips (for the hanging method)
  • Extras: yarn, beads, barrettes, anything extra
  • Copy paper (artist statement cut down to 6” x 6”)
  • Pencils (#2)

Watch the video  I made with Animoto on how to make the flying pigs.

Making the pigs is a lot of fun and messy. To help students I cut the paper towels and newspapers into strips for them using a paper cutter. I do this to keep my scissors clean.

Once the students have finished picking their artist and painting their pigs, students are to write about their pig. Have students write an artist statement that includes a title, the artist name, and how/why their pig is modeled after an artist. Also explain the phrase, “When pigs fly.”See example below

By Mrs. Berry

My pig is modeled after the artist Georgia O’Keeffe. The pig has large flowers similar to the style that Georgia O’Keeffe uses in her paintings of flowers. I used flowers for the eyes and leaves for the nostrils. Due to the papier-mâché texture the flowers have a feel for the painting style of Vincent Van Gogh. I know this because of the way in which I added paint in layers. After I painted and named my pig I chose girl type extras. I added hair with a braid and a broken barrette. I chose the blue and purple wire for the tail because it matched the colors on the pig. Now when people say, “When Pigs Fly!,” I can point to my pig and tell them that anything is possible in the art room.

Being on a string shoe budget of half of a shoe string I was able to have students create this project due to other’s donations. Let me break down the cost:

  • Glue 0$ (At the end of the year teachers give me their old glue bottles that don’t work. I take a plier to get the top off and pour the glue into a large glue container and add water.)
  • Egg cartons 0$ (Parents donate them.)
  • Cardboard 0$ (Lunch ladies give me the cardboard from in-between the food.)
  • Wire 0$ (Parent donated telephone wire.)
  • House paint 0$ (Old/used paint donated from Home Depot –Way to go!)
  • Paper clips 0$ (Donated from other teachers.)
  • Brushes 0$ (Not new to the room, a tool that I already have, PTP purchased several a couple years ago.)
  • Newspaper 0$ (Donated from parents and a volunteer to the building.)
  • Brown Paper towels 0$ (Start in the bathroom as large rolls, then they are taken out when they are too small. They go to the lunchroom for the staff, when they are too small the left over roll comes to the art room.)
  • Balloons 0$ (Donated by other nice staff in the building.)
  • Extras 0$ (Donated by parents, they extras vary every year.)
  • Tape 10 $ (Ok, so I broke down and spent my own money so they could tape it together.)
  • Tempera Paint 0$ (Another teacher donated some paint. I am also using paint that was left over from last year)
  • Copy Paper 0$(Donated from a parent.)
  • Pencils 0$(Donated from other teachers: usually when there are no more erases on the ends)
  • Containers for the glue 0$(Donated by staff and parents.)

Total cost: 10$
Enjoy making flying pigs. They are a lot of fun to create but very messy!

Mrs. Berry

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