Nature Collage

(Two-Session Art Lesson)
by Nancy Arreola - Mark West Elementary School

Grade: 2nd
Description: Students will create collages using items from nature to create scenes. Collages are inspired from pictures viewed in books written and illustrated by Jeannie Baker. The lesson was planned to enhance classroom theme entitled "Nature At Your Door".
Objective: Students will learn to mix colors to create different shades of colors. Students will learn how to create horizon line and paint background for arrangements. Children will create scenes of nature.
Materials:
Session 1
Anticipatory Set: Children read the book Home in the Sky. Teacher shares that when Jeannie Baker illustrated this book she used rocks, ships of old paints, grass, weeds, leaves, hair, cloth, and clay to make the pictures. Have the children look most closely at the park scene and the scene outside the subway. Discuss how the artist created the scenes. Explain that the scenes are called collages. (Pictures made by gluing down scraps and odds and ends to create a picture.) Tell children that they will now have an opportunity to create their own nature collages.

Procedure:
  1. Discuss various settings, i.e., beach, mountains, park, desert, etc. children decide where they want their scene to be set.
  2. Teach children to use acrylic paints to create backgrounds on particleboard squares. Teach horizon line. The entire board should be covered with paint. Teach children to blend colors to get a variety of shades. Remind children that they are painting only the background, not painting the details or scene itself, i.e. ground, sky, beach, water, etc. This step is best taught through modeling, although you may not want to create an entire scene, just enough to model each procedure.
  3. Let creations dry at least 1 hours.

nature collage Click on photos for larger view nature collage
Session 2
  1. Revisit Jeannie Baker's work by reading aloud Where the Forest Meets the Sea, looking carefully at artwork and discussing how artist may have created it.
  2. Explain that children will now have the opportunity to create their own scenes. Share items available for use (sand, shells, twigs,etc.
  3. Set up rules and procedures for using items.
  4. Model applying glue/sand, also using glue guns. (Many items can be applied with regular Elmer's glue at work area.)
  5. Children create collages while listening to sounds of nature audio tape or CD.
nature collage


Closure:
After collages are thoroughly dried, coat with Mod-Podge to seal and preserve. Hang with string or wire inserted in pre-drilled holes.

Extensions:

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©   Deborah Padrick   2001