8th Grade – Mixed Media Collage

8th Grade – Mixed Media Collage

Description of the Unit –

Students will learn about a variety of mixed media collage artists and create their own mixed media collage from thoughtfully compiled items.

(FYI: I have a little video tutorial that I made for my students during the Covid-19 shelter-in-place period that takes this assignment one step further by making it a “secret” collage. Check it out to see what I mean:)

Activity statement –

The term “collage” comes from the French word coller, or “to glue.” Originated by the Cubists, the collages were mixed media assemblages of newsprint, photographs, magazines and books, as well as wood, painted paper and sometimes even three-dimensional objects. For this lesson students will observe and discuss the work of three well-known collage artists, Hannah Hoch, Eileen Agar & Kurt Schwitters, and use their collages as inspiration for their own mixed media collage. However, students will be considering very personal objects and text to include in his or her own collage as each collage will also feature a stylized self-portrait photo.

Eileen Agar, Fish Circus, 1939
Kurt Schwitters, Mz601, 1923
Hannah Höch, Flight, 1931

Goals –Students should…


  • What a work of collage art is


  • What the term collage means
  • Who various collage artists were, in this case we are focusing on Hoch, Agar and Schwitters, but there are many others.

Be able to:

  • Recognize collage art, and perhaps even distinguish the artwork of our featured artists
  • Thoughtfully gather and compose pieces into one collage
8th grade mixed media collage – art lesson

Resources and materials –

  • Examples of mixed media collages from artists from Hannah Hoch, Eileen Agar & Kurt Schwitters
  • Canvas boards (I like them in 9×12)
  • Stylized photos of each student (I have them them partner up and take them of each other)
  • A variety of handmade paper
  • Magazines, newspapers and books to provide text as well as images
  • Mod podge or other adhesive medium with primer qualities
  • Scissors
  • Brushes to apply mod podge
8th grade mixed media collage

Questions –

  • What do you see?
  • How would you interpret these images?
  • Can you try to name where some of the images might have come from (i.e., newspaper, magazine, photograph, etc.)?
  • What are some sources you can think of for a collage?
8th grade mixed media collage
8th grade mixed media collage

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