Today, I helped the kiddos put together their own collage. It was a pretty fun and simple art project, and I wanted to share with you the steps that we took to complete it.
But before we could do anything, we had to do something about this:
Yikes. So, 30 minutes and two oh-so-tired kids later, we were ready:
1. Children's literature to demonstrate the art of collage. We, of course, dug out a couple of Eric Carle books: 10 Little Rubber Ducks and Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? (written with Bill Martin, Jr.) In addition, we read Inch by Inch, by Leo Lionni and Into the A, B, Sea, by Deborah Lee Rose and illustrated by Steve Jenkins.
2. Large cardboard scraps
3. Construction paper
4. Pretty papers. We used a variety of scarp booking paper (not pictured).
7. Mod Podge and brush for application
1. In order to help them understand what a collage is, we read a few wonderful children's books. You can hardly teach about collage without reading Eric Carle, since he's pretty much the collage king. But I also wanted to read some books that demonstrated the art with pretty papers since that was the technique we'd be using. Both Inch by Inch and Into the A, B, Sea were perfect examples of this kind of collage.
When reading the books, take time to point out that some papers are used over and over again for different parts of the picture. Note that some papers add more texture to the illustration than others, depending on the design. Find examples of different weights of paper, from thick heavy papers to thin wispy pieces.
2. After reading the books, it's time to get started. I let each kiddo choose a color as their base and we glued that paper to the cardboard scrap. This makes a kind of homemade canvas (much cheaper than store-bought!).
3. Draw a picture outline with your pencil, something that can be filled in with papers. Daniel mostly scribbled a little, but Natalie is just starting to make recognizable pictures. So I encouraged her to take some time with her outline. She ended up drawing a picture of 3 flowers:
Then next step is to fill in the outline. I guided the kids to study their pictures and plan out piece sizes before jumping in with the scissors. Of course, this was only partially effective. Natalie was able to do some judging...Daniel, not so much. I quickly decided to let Daniel go to town with his collage and not worry too much about how his ended up. It's all about the process, people, for real.
But Natalie did cut out her shapes after some forethought and planning. Below, she's glued on several small petals (at the top) and two large green leaves, one out of construction paper and one out of patterned paper.
Even though this is a simple project, it gives children opportunities to work on a variety of skills, including scissor practice and hand/eye coordination.
After the outline has been filled in, you can call it quits if you want. But I thought it would be neat to add a layer of Mod Podge across the top of it to give the collage a real finish. Natalie and Daniel loved that idea. I helped Daniel brush his on (because he was basically moving around large glops of it in the middle of his collage), but Natalie was able to brush her Mod Podge on without help.
Mod Podge dries to the touch fairly quickly, but you'll need to wait a day or so before really handling.
Natalie, age 4
Daniel, age 3
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