I can't take credit for this art idea. A former colleague, Ms. Denise, brought this idea in when our class was following explorers in Antarctica through the Whale Times "Bold in the Cold" virtual field trip experience.
We studied how krill is the basis of the entire Antarctic food chain and each student researched an animal. We then had an expo of student work, with parents and snacks and student backboards showing their research, the centerpiece of which was an ENORMOUS sheet of paper many feet tall and wide completely covered in krill, with pictures of all of the other animals glued on and the classic yarn web showing the connections between them. I have searched but I can't find any pictures. However, I remember how we made the krill swarm.
Krill are about the size of your pinkie finger. We had every child in the Elementary paint their pinkie fingers orange and simply print krill over and over and over. When the paint dried, just put a black dot Sharpie eye at the fingernail end. Done. What could be simpler?
Natalie made a krill swarm (on a smaller scale) and then took her notes on her current events article and glued her notes into the MLB with the krill swarm behind them as background. Very effective.