• supporting creativity in the classroom and beyond •

• supporting creativity in the classroom and beyond •

Thursday, May 17, 2012

patriotic colors collage

These "patriotic color" collages are fun and easy to do with Kindergarten through fourth grade students. The ones pictured here were done by a second grade class.

 If I have time, I begin the activity with a "looking at art" session where students tell what they notice in Alexander Calder's lithograph, Stars and Stripes Students are generally quick to notice that Calder used only red and blue, and that it reminds them of the American flag, or the 4th of July. They often notice that the piece has more red than blue, and that one of the stars has a dot in the middle of it.

The "looking at art" session is followed by the art activity itself, in which there are very few rules other than to be creative, use shapes and strips or stripes to create an interesting design, and to NOT make a flag. Some students have a hard time getting beyond the flag itself, but the addition of yellow stars helps. Each student gets a 9x12 white background, a 6x9 piece of red, and a 4x6 piece of blue, plus the yellow for the stars.

 As part of the lesson, I teach 2nd grade and older students how to make a "quirky star" by drawing a circle in the center of a yellow square, drawing five dots around the circle, then connecting the dots to the circle, in sequence (it's easier than it sounds). First graders just draw and cut out a yellow star, and Kindergartners get a pre=printed yellow star which they are asked to tear out. I never give the students pre-cut stars because I want the stars to be quirky, asymmetrical, and fanciful.

 This lesson is pretty much fool-proof; anything students come up with looks great!

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