Collage is a meaningful experience. It helps develop eye hand coordination and fine motor skills. It creates a deeper understanding of shape, form and detail…and of course it’s fun! You can vary your learning experiences during each lesson, while teaching collage through a variety of motivations.
Today I am going to discuss the tried and true Shape Collage. This lesson usually comes after a class of collage exploration where we are getting to know the materials and processes that go along with collage itself.
Motivation: Motivating for collage is fun times! For the primary grades it is about holding the scissors, using them to cut shapes and gluing them down. A fun way I introduce how to cut shapes in collage is to “talk” to my scissors. I get up close and whisper to them, and let them know that they can draw, just like a pencil. They talk back to me, and let me know they’ll try their best! Just like our pencil, our scissors can draw shapes we all know, like triangles, and rectangles and they can draw shapes we invent ourselves. It is quite amazing!
Lesson Development: It is empowering to realize that all things come from shapes. Adding shapes together, we can illustrate almost anything! I begin with a tray on each table of cut squares and rectangles. During the first conversation about shape we learn all those wonderous mathematical truths. If I fold one rectangle in half, and cut, it will make two rectangles. If I cut those in half, and cut, it will make four..and so on. If I cut the square in half and cut, it will make two rectangles, and if I fold those in half and cut, it will make four squares. If I fold those diagonally, I will have eight triangles! The possibilities are endless. There is such joy in seeing the pile of shapes growing…the mathematical discovery is immense. What a meaningful way to integrate math and spatial learning through art.
Materials: background paper of your choice no larger than 8 1/2 x 11in , cut paper shapes in various sizes and colors, glue jars, glue brushes, scissors.