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“Papier mâché me like one of your Pygmy goats”

By Heather Christy, senior


Earlier this semester, Mrs. Ferguson’s class experienced a new, creative way of learning about goat breeds: researching them and creating three-dimensional goat sculptures in papier-mâché!

The project required many steps. First, Ferguson assigned a type of a goat breed to students in her class. The students then built the body out of almost anything- styrofoam, aluminum, or cardboard. After, the class added pieces of cardboard to build and attach ears, horns, and tails to the goat they were working on, which required a lot of hot glue and patience.

After building their goat body, papier mâché was added; the papier mâché adhesive was made out of flour and water, creating a very sticky substance very similar to glue. When finished with cutting out the pieces of newspaper, the students carefully stuck them in the glue like substance and began to apply the strips to the goat body. Papier mâché requires a lot of layers so after the first layer was done, they had to wait and let it dry. Then finally, when the first layer was dry, they added on another one. However big they wanted their goat’s body was how much they kept layering it on, but the average goat required at least three layers.

“Even though it was messy, it forced me to go to my creative side to create a goat. I’m not really good at art, so it was nice to make something without being judged,” senior Erin Nettleton said.

After their goat’s papier mâché body was dry, they were then able to paint it. If the goat’s body was not painted to look like the student’s assigned breed, the student would lose points.

“I liked painting my goat even though it was really messy and a lot harder then I thought it would be, but it was a lot of fun,” senior Emily Kinser said, a student in Ferguson’s third period class.

When the students were done painting their goat’s body, they then let it dry; letting it dry took a day and when the drying process was complete, the students all grabbed their goat and sat them on their desks for everyone to see. Ferguson finished this assignment by having each student stand up and announce what their goat breed was and three fun facts about it.

“I’ve never done papier mâché before, but it was fun to do it for the first time with my friends in class,” senior J.T. Waltz said.

Ferguson found the idea while scrolling through Pinterest, an online app that has craft ideas.

“I thought the papier mâché was a cool way to incorporate hands-on learning and art into our agriculture class,” Ferguson said. “We had a lot of fun and it was a great way to get out of the normal routine of things and still learn about goats.”