It's February, so I'm doing hearts with kids. All kinds of hearts. These patterned hearts with watercolor overlay were done with a first grade class, after a discussion about what makes a pattern a pattern. I love asking this question of little kids... it's always such an interesting discussion. Once we get to the idea that a pattern is something that repeats, then I am ready to move on into using patterns in some kind of art activity.
For this activity, I taught the students how to cut a "thumb heart" by folding a small piece of tagboard, making a fist, putting the folded side into the space between the thumb and the fist, and then cutting around the thumb. Sometimes it works. Well, most of the time it works, except when the student puts the folded side out by accident, or when he or she forgets to cut around the thumb and goes off the edge. But no matter, because I always bring hearts for tracing anyway.
Students are given their choice of using their own heart or one of mine. I show them how to trace three or four hearts onto a piece of 6x12 white construction paper, overlapping them, and then I model drawing different line patterns in the spaces with a black crayon. For this part, I choose kids with some kind of pattern on their clothes, and show how to transfer that pattern to paper. Then I show them how to use the watercolors (brush straight up, not smooshed into the paper, with a good amount of water to make a puddle in the paint). Then I send them off to work and help those who need a little assistance.
Cutting around the hearts and mounting them on black paper makes them look even better!