Michelangelo's birthday is on March 6th. We tried this activity last year as a way to lighten the week of state testing. It turned into a memorable afternoon, and one that I am looking forward to replicating this year!
In the fall, we had read From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. (always a favorite!) When we read the book, we did learn a little bit about Michelangelo, so this activity didn't take too much set up.
In the afternoon, we told the kids of Michelangelo's upcoming birthday. We figured out how old he would be, and then reviewed things that we had learned about him in the fall. Next, students got out their watercolor paints, we taped white paper to the underside of their desks, and they got down on the floor and painted on their backs just as Michelangelo had done when he painted the Sistine Chapel.
They laughed for the first few minutes as they got used to this new perspective and the realization of what they were doing. However, it didn't take them long to settle in and get serious about what they were creating. We had great fun on this afternoon, and the art they created turned out to be pretty darn good!
It will be a fun break again this year. I'll post about our new creations!