• supporting creativity in the classroom and beyond •

• supporting creativity in the classroom and beyond •

Saturday, May 12, 2012

kindergarten line collages

Take a classroom of kindergartners, hand them some scissors and construction paper, and then some glue sticks. Show them how to cut strips. Pile all the strips in the middle of the table, and set them free. That's what I did in a kindergarten class last week at a school where I used to run an art program. The teacher told me, while reviewing the day, that if I wanted to do "an art thing" to feel free. So, with her permission I set aside what she had planned for my center and instead I had the students just cut strips from many different colors of construction paper.

 It's always interesting to watch kindergartners using scissors. In fact, it takes more than watching. Sometimes I have to rearrange the scissors in their hands so that the right fingers are in the right holes. And I like to teach kids to hold the paper upright and cut with the scissors pointing to the ceiling. I tell them this is how artists do it. Well, it's how I do it, and I'm an artist, so I guess that's ok.

After the cutting station and a recess break, everyone got a sheet of black construction paper and a glue stick. My directions to them were to use the strips to make a picture or a design, and to be creative. I showed them how to use a piece of scratch paper on which to lay the strips when applying the glue so the tables wouldn't get all sticky. Some worked in complete concentration, meticulously arranging the strips to create houses or other "name-able" objects. Others glued the lines/strips in random order, while still others clearly had something in mind, even if the result was clearly non-representational... at least to the casual observer.

 For sharing, each finished composition was held up for admiring. I had the students tell what they could see, or what it looked like. It was fun and interesting to hear how they interpreted each others' art work. This was SO easy and the kids got a whole lot of practice cutting and gluing, like Kindergartners should!

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