The theme of ‘change’ is a perennial one in primary school, and for Prep students, caterpillars to butterflies along with Eric Carle’s ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ is a wonderful inspiration for art lessons. Last year’s Preps made painted paper caterpillar & butterfly collages which were amazing. This year in the classroom they were looking more at chemical change, so I decided to do colour mixing activities- primary colour mixing to make secondary colours.
I shared The Very Hungry Caterpillar story and we looked closely at the colours on the caterpillar. The students were given a small pieces of blue and yellow Model Magic paper clay to roll and knead together to make green. They then tore off small pieces to roll into balls, pushing only lightly together to join. Some decided to make a hump on their caterpillar. Next they were given a small piece of red for the head and a tiny bit of yellow to separate in two for the eyes.
To make purple for the antennae, they were given a tiny amount of blue and red to then roll thinly to attach to the top of the head. They just used a green texta to add dots on the yellow eyes. Brown for the legs.
Butterflies were made by using food dye in dauber bottles on a folded piece of kitchen paper. Students daubed the colours any way they liked and when opened could see the design was mirrored on the other side. (Discuss symmetry!)
The drew a half butterfly wing design and I used that to cut out the folded kitchen paper when dry. Students chose an insect body (made by Roylco), put a chenille stick through the head for antennae and I fan folded their butterfly to insert though the slot in the body.
Next step will be for the Preps to make a leaf for the caterpillar and a wire stand for the butterfly for display! Will update with a photo when done.
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.
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.