I found this lesson plan in one of Sax's lesson plan booklets- Mosaic Embellished Boxes. The students had a great time with this, however, I have to say, that the pre-made tiles got pretty expensive. If I do this one again, I will focus more on having the students make their own tiles using FIMO clay or maybe even having them make some with Longhorn white and then glazing them.
However, since this was the first time doing this lesson, I stuck with the plan as is (live and learn). I connected this to Byzantine mosaics, thus keeping with our focus on Art Around the World. We looked at a variety of mosaics found throughout Europe and Asia and noticed colors (lots of gold) and features.
The students chose a color scheme and then I had the students paint their boxes with acrylic paint first (inside and out). Then they measured out a piece of graph paper that fit the top of the box, so that they could plan how they wanted their design to look.
I had a variety of glass tiles in different sizes that they were allowed to use (for this year- probably not next year, or I might need to limit how many of these are used).
Once their design was ready, I showed them how to use FIMO clay to make any special tiles that they wanted. They used different texture plates and clay tools to make these unique. When they were ready, I put them into the toaster oven and baked them for 30 minutes and then saved them in a ziplock bag for each class. This is another aspect that I need to refine. We had a hard time sorting out the handmade tiles once they were baked. The larger tiles had room for the students to carve their initials into (on the back). However, the tiny ones, didn't have room and it got very confusing when we needed to pass out tiles.
Once all of the tiles were ready, we used adhesive to stick them onto the lid, following the plan that was created at the beginning of the project.
I had then had a variety of beads, sequins, bottle caps and other randomness for the students to add embellishments to their boxes.
I will definitely be doing this project again, but will need to rethink the logistics before putting it into action!