For the third year in a row, our school has launched a hat show for the 7th grade. The hats are mad out of paper lunch bags, glue and staples, that's all. Sorry the picture is so fuzzy (I had a novice photographer working for me).
The idea came from a Smithsonian article called "The Mad Hatter" about an artist in Hawaaii who makes very elaborate paper hats from lunch and paper grocery bags. (I'm sorry I don't have the magazine here, otherwise I would give you a publication date, it had Mel Gibson on the front in "The Patriot")
The kids are amazed at his hats and quickly see the possibilities. I encourage them to explore what the paper can do first. I demonstrate softening the paper by repeated crumpling, twisting and coiling, folding into tubes and fans, curling with scissors etc.
I would encourage any teacher to create one first. Otherwise they don't believe it can be done.
We end the project by staging a show for the entire school which includes choreographing the runway walking and choosing music. The kids love it. It's labor intense but it's dirt cheap.
What is so terrible about art is that the further one advances in it, the more tightly one is committed to an extreme and nearly impossible objective.