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For inspiration, we watched this video in which Eric Carle shows how he paints his papers.
First, have each student paint two papers.
I provided tempera paint and finger painting paper. I used this kind of paper because it is thin and shiny.
A student paints red, yellow, or orange all over one piece of paper. This is for the flower. She then paints one of the other colors on top of the wet first coat. I encouraged the students to paint swirls, dots, stripes, squiggly lines, etc.
Next the student paints a piece of paper solid green. Since the paper was slippery, the brush itself leaves nice texture lines in the paper. Plus, you know how kids paint…side to side, in circles, then up and down. It's fun to watch their concentration when to our eyes the painting looks so random.
Next, the students will prepare the pieces for their collages. I did provide patterns for the petals and the flower center. I felt like the kids would need some help with how big to make the flowers to they filled the background pages. Have each child trace a center and petals on the BACK of the painted papers.
Now for the cutting. Each child should cut out the center and petals. My kids were surprised to see how their petals looked after cutting them out. Next each child should cut out a stem and petals. I did not provide patterns for these as you'll notice in the photos.
Here's a cute moment when some of the boys decided to compare their stems to the art in our big-book version of the story.
This is an important step! Direct each child to arrange her collage pieces (petals, center, stem, leaves) on the background paper. When she is pleased with the arrangement, then she can glue. I want the students to learn that artists are thoughtful about their work.
After arranging the pieces, a student may glue. Provide brushes and glue that has been diluted with a little bit of water. A student paints the glue on the back of the collage pieces, making sure to go all the way to the edges. He should press the pieces flat onto the background paper.
After the project, you'll have lots of scraps. I'm putting these in our art center to inspire more collages.
I took a picture of each child's flower so that I can upload them into artsonia. I'm thinking the art would make great Mother's Day gifts. Drop me a note if you decide to do some "soul teaching" with this art project!