This is a project I have done many, many times over the years. It is super inexpensive as I use scrap cardboard from just about anything you can imagine. Sometimes, the cardboard is from a package insert like the one above left and already has interesting shapes pressed in. Other times it is just a flat scrap.
Typically I do this lesson when I look around the art room and see that I have been gifted copious amounts of cardboard from the librarian and others or I have just unpacked a supply order or I am at the tail end of supplies and realize I need a lesson to fill in the gaps before my order arrives.
Whatever the case, the students always enjoy this lesson as it is fun and colorful and they can make it as elaborate or as simple as they want to.
For this lesson, the students were given pre-cut rectangles of cardboard. If they wanted a different shape, I offered to cut them on the paper cutter. They also had a few trays of assorted scraps of cardboard to get them started. They could cut the cardboard pieces to their liking. Thicker cardboard is more challenging to cut so if students asked me to, I would help them cut. I always tell them to try things first before they ask for help. I have found when given that directive, they often surprise themselves with how capable they are.
They glued the shapes on with white glue and added color with pastels. They completed this lesson in 45 minutes start to finish including a quick PowerPoint about Picasso and cubism.
As the school year winds down, supplies seem to be at a premium. I do my best to be very budget conscious since my program is funded entirely through the generosity of parents and our foundation. Because of this, I tend to slide in to the last few weeks of art with just enough paper, paint and glue to get us through to the end of the year.
This is one of those lessons that is easy to do on a budget with a few donated newspapers and some scraps of construction paper. I usually have a good sized bin of paper scraps by the end of the year and I have a stack of newspaper from a few years ago so that made this project even easier. I first showed students some examples I had made and then I demoed how to cut different animal heads, ears, snouts, and bodies for the students and they chose what animal they wanted to create and how they wanted to create it.
If you do an online search for newsprint animals you will likely have even more examples of this lesson to choose from. These were our version and we completed them in one 45 minute session.
I had a bunch of 3 inch strips leftover from cutting paper for a project and needed to do something with them. I also have a larger than necessary stash of bright orange paper that had been languishing in the cabinet for a while. We put the two together and came up with these cool nine patch images.
There were a lot of reminders about how to use and read a ruler but they did a great job.
I can’t believe I remembered to take a picture of the steps we came up with! I put the time on the board since we only have 45 minutes from beginning to end so they could gauge themselves and have enough time to cut and glue.
For as long as I have been teaching art, I have been going to art shows, gallery openings, and museums as well as taking classes. I think that if I want my students to be life long learners, I need to be one myself.
I love to look at gallery sites and find things that might inspire me or my students to create something fun. That is how I found this artist.
I came across an article about Martina Nehberg on the Markel Fine Arts blog. Her art is colorful and fun and my students loved seeing her work and the pictures of her studio especially when it included her dogs.
We used scraps from our box of colorful paper strips. It was a great lesson for my 1-2 combo class to practice cutting and gluing skills while creating amazing works of art.
This lesson came about because of my desperate need to use up this giant box of donated strips.
I’ve done several different lessons with several different grade levels over the last few weeks but the box is still half full.
I showed my students how to wrap the paper into a little roll then let it go or not, then glue it and squash it into different shapes. They used a paintbrush handle to twist the paper onto.
There are loads of videos and how to’s out there on the internet if you want to do something super fancy. For my 5th grade students, I just had them do flowers.
We looked at historic and modern day examples. I did this with 5th grade because it was a handicraft from the Colonial period.
The term quilling comes from how colonists would twist the paper around their quills to make this decorative art.
Our black placemats we use get pretty messy after hundreds of uses. A few days ago, I noticed that the edges of most of them were folded and frayed and that many were bumpy from being wet from paint and glue. I swapped them out for new ones and wanted to use the spattered papers for something. I came up with this for my 1/2 combo class. A week or so ago, a gigantic box of skinny strips showed up in the art room. KISMET!! Students used the black mats at the substrate and the paper strips to weave.
They took paper strips and glued them on one edge of the paper. To remind them to use a small amount of glue and to hold the paper a few seconds so it wouldn’t slide around, we chanted dot, dot, not a lot, lot , press and hold 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
It was a pretty fun way to get them to make sure the one side was stuck before we started weaving. While that dried a bit, they decorated their strips and then did their weaving.
Well, they actually trimmed the edges. Then did their weaving.
Pretty great way to use up a box of paper strips that showed up in the art room and the old placemats as well.
“Through color, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on man’s inhumanity to man.”
Last year, I did Alma Thomas paintings with my Kindergarten students. They used my home made sponge brushes.
This year, I have TONS of scrap paper. I put the scraps in several shallow bins on each table.
I figure my second graders would enjoy some collage so we looked at the work of Alma Thomas and they came up with these. I told them they could copy the artist or do their own thing.
We barely make a dent in the scrap paper.
In the teacher workroom is a box that says, “Art Scraps”. A few years ago, a recycling minded parent created the box for us. Teachers and parents put all the construction paper and other paper scraps from projects in the box. For this project, we used some of those scraps.
Students in my 1/2 combo class were given heart templates to trace. They then filled the hearts with scraps of paper.
I used cups of white glue mixed with water and some sponge brushes that were donated. They traced the heart templates with our black Staonal Crayons. They used scissors or tearing to make the pieces of paper smaller.
Because they came out so nice, I did the lesson again with my K/1 group.
For them I pre-traced the hearts to save time. There is only one class of this combo and it is small. They actually ended up having time to cut the hearts out and glue them onto black paper. I think it is always good for students to have extra scissor practice and the black background really makes the hearts stand out.
The K/1 class did some Matisse cutouts. I talked to them about Matisse, we looked at his work and learned a little about his life.
I demonstrated how to cut out spirals and how to draw shapes on their paper but then to glue them so that no pencil marks showed.
We also talked about using the scraps and leftover cuts and how just cutting off a corner of their scrap or in half made it an entirely new shape.
MOMA has a great site with information about Matisse’s cutouts.