As part of a theme of Growth and Change, Year 1 & 2 discussed changes in the weather and the seasons and nature. We talked about the traditional seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and learnt about the seven Aboriginal Seasons of the Kulin Nation (Melbourne and south central Victoria) by viewing a Calendar. We noted that September and October is called “Poorneet”- Tadpole Season. Some children had said they’d seen tadpoles and small frogs in a local park with a lake.
We watched a video about the life cycle of a frog, with pictures of the stages and changes.
Students painted a lake, pond or creek/river. They formed tadpoles for plasticine and eggs from bubble wrap.
Painted paper was made with browns and greens using texture wands to make frog skin.
Children used templates to help them draw the body parts for their frog onto the back of their painted paper to then cut out and glue together, then place on their pond scene.
To make an Eric Carle inspired butterfly collage with painted paper.
We are learning about symmetry and shape.
We are learning about warm and cool colours.
I can cut a symmetrical butterfly shape from painted paper by folding my paper in half.
I can cut shapes from cool coloured paper and arrange symmetrically onto my butterfly (in the style of Eric Carle)
Children make painted paper with WARM colours. They paint their entire paper with one warm colour then add texture by scraping a texture comb through the wet paint. They then use texture wands to dab or roll another warm colour over the paper.
Discuss SYMMETRY- mirror images- same on both sides. Look at some pictures of butterflies and notice the symmetrical designs. Discuss SHAPES – organic: like a butterfly, a leaf, a flower etc, and geometric like squares and triangles.
Students fold their dry painted paper in half (colour inside) and draw half a butterfly- maybe a ‘B’ shape or chosen wing design next to the fold and cut out.
Add a long brown strip for body in the middle. Add a circle head, eyes and antennae.
Cool coloured papers (scraps) are folded and used to cut out (two at a time) shapes to be placed symmetrically on butterfly wings.
Eric Carle’s children’s books and illustrations are a delight to read to children and also a wonderful inspiration so many art projects- who doesn’t love painted paper collages?
The Prep students (first year at Primary school) were working on a theme of “Growth and Change” and the story “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” fits in beautifully. This art lesson is the first part- of course there has to be the cocoon and then the butterfly!
We watched an animated version of the story on Youtube, and I also had a copy of the book to look carefully at the pictures. We discussed how they think Eric Carle made the pictures- someone did eventually proffer that he painted paper and then cut and pasted it. We talked about how he might have got the effects of texture. I then showed them a short video of Carle making making paper, and collaging a butterfly, so they could see his process.
Making painted paper:
Students were given a tray with a dark green, an ‘apple’ green, and white. They were instructed not to actually mix the colours, but to double dip to cover their entire paper and then while the paint was wet to use a texture wand or comb to dab or scrape through the wet paint. They also did a smaller piece of paper with red, yellow and purple paint in sections. These are left to dry for the next session.
We looked at Eric Carle’s caterpillar and decided that the shape needed for the body parts was an oval. So to make a template for the caterpillar’s body, each child was given a smallish piece of cardboard to fill it with an oval shape. After checking with me that it was big enough, they cut it out and used that to trace onto the back of their painted paper as many as they could. (we folded the paper in half so they would cut two out at a time) They traced a slightly bigger head on the red paper and used the yellow to cut circles for eyes, the purple for antennae.
I demonstrated how they could glue down their ovals- we talked about arranging and overlapping- once again referring to Carle’s caterpillar. Students cut out yellow eyes, purple antennae and green circles for on top of eyes and a small triangle nose. I cut the little ‘L’ shaped feet for them from scrap brown painted paper.
Our school was doing a “Discover Dairy” inquiry unit and so we were making lots of artworks of cows! The inspiration for this lesson was from “paper paintings” of cows by Elizabeth St Hilaire (Nelson)
“Paper Paintings” by Elizabeth St Hilaire
The students looked at some St Hilaire’s “paper painted” cows and inferred the techniques and materials they think she used.
We watched a couple of videos with Elizabeth St Hilaire talking about her materials and showing the techniques she uses.
The students then chose a photo of a chosen breed of cow to crop to a square to use for a reference to make a realistic drawing and get the shape and colouring right.
They drew a grid on the photo (digitally) then ruled up a larger piece of paper to enlarge each part of the drawing of the cow’s head.
Next they used the photo as a reference to mix paints to match to do an underpainting and make some painted paper.
The painted paper was used to collage over the “underpainting”
We took 4-5 one hour lessons to complete and evaluate the artworks. Full lesson plan with learning intentions, success criteria, lesson activities with process, useful video links and students self evaluation rubric, all linked to Victorian Curriculum to purchase below.
Painted paper collages of ‘Fall’ birch trees by Elizabeth St Hilaire were the inspiration for these mixed media artworks by Year 5 students. The process we used was different than that of St Hilaire, though I got the students to suggest what materials and techniques they think were used by her.
Elizabeth St Hilaire was born and raised in New England, USA and has lived in Florida for more than 20 years. She makes collages from painted, found and hand made papers, which she tears and collages to make her amazing textured and patterned artworks of landscapes, trees, animals, flowers, birds and portraits. St Hilaire does an underpainting first then uses swatches of painted and found paper in matching colours to glue over the top, giving her work a painterly finish, with the texture of a collage. We used a different process, painting the collaged newspaper after it was stuck down. For this project we looked at her Autumn (Fall) Birch trees for inspiration.
Learning Intention & Success Criteria:
To make a mixed media artwork of Autumn birch trees in the style of Elizabet St Hilaire.
I will learn about artist Elizabeth St Hilaire and view her artworks of Autumn (Birch) trees and how she shows texture and perspective in her artworks.
I am learning about PERSPECTIVE and TEXTURE so I can use collage and painting techniques to resemble Birch tree trunks.
I can tear and glue down overlapped newspaper to cover a piece of A3 paper.
I will use masking tape to make some trunks thin, some thicker to give the illusion of depth and perspective. I can use scraped and dabbed black paint to give texture. I can choose and blend colours and emphasize texture in the Autumn background.
I can analyse artworks by Elizabeth St Hilaire by noting materials, process and elements of art.
First of all students look at the Birch tree artworks by Elizabeth St Hilaire to infer the materials and techniques. For example: Materials: paint, paper: newspaper, sheet music, painted paper, glue, etc. Techniques: tearing, overlapping, gluing, painting, collage, outlining, etc.
This is a video of an interview with St. Hilaire explaining her process and collage techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9obDq-QLtA and this one: “A peek into my Process”: demonstrates how she goes about an artwork.
OurProcess: (different from St Hilaire)
Collage the entire page with torn newspaper. Brush over with ‘Modge Podge.’
Use masking tape of varying widths to make the tree trunks from top to bottom of the page with some thin branches off the side.
Use Autumn colours to paint the background- could be in layers or mixed all over.
Use a thin brush to paint black paint along the edges of the tree trunks. Using the edge/side of a card, scrape paint inwards along the edges of the trunks to give tone and texture of a birch tree trunk.
Eloise Renouf is an artist, designer and illustrator from the UK whose designs adorn fabric and printed textiles for homewares and greeting cards. She designs all sorts of nature-inspired patterns: from flowers, trees, clouds, birds and leaves. Her overlapping trees use circles, ovals and roundish shapes or ’round cornered’ squares!
First the students made painted paper, using warm coloured paint to print and dab with brushes and texture wands onto warm coloured cover paper. While this was left to dry, they made their background- one class used paint to dab on the grass at the bottom of a piece of blue cover paper; the other class overlapped pieces of green tissue paper along the bottom third of the paper.
The next lesson, students used pre-cut templates mostly in the shape of ovals and round cornered squares to trace the shapes on the back of the painted paper, and cutting out, making sure to share and use other students scraps to get a variety of colours and patterns.
They then used permanent markers to draw a line up the middle of the shape for the tree trunk, then add various lines for branches, using Renouf designs for ideas.
Students then had to arrange their trees with the colours spread into a “back row” on the top half of the page, gluing down, then adding the trunk in the black marker to touch the top of the “ground”. The next row of trees were glued lower, slightly overlapping the back row, and with the various colours spread out.
The trunks drawn from those trees needed to be drawn down a little lower because they are closer!
This took 2 one hour lessons. We had discussions about shape, colour, line, overlapping etc.
My art lesson with Year 1 and 2 students was adapted from “First Grade landscapes” from a Cassie Stephens post.
Lesson plan to purchase with learning intentions, success criteria, lesson activities, linked curriculum and assessment rubric below.
This lesson is great at the beginning of Spring, and fits in nicely with the theme of growth and change. We read the Eric Carle book, “The Tiny Seed”, and discussed how he might have made his pictures.
Students had fun making painted paper, learning about texture, contrast, and warm and cool colours. They made their own petal template shape, cut and arranged them, following steps shown . Full lesson plan below.