Category: collage

2nd Grade: Henri Matisse & Rex Ray: Cut-outs & Collage

2nd Grade: Henri Matisse & Rex Ray: Cut-outs & Collage

Description of the Unit – Students will explore the famous cut-outs that Henri Matisse innovated in the 1940’s, as well as Rex Ray’s inventive contemporary collages. Throughout their exploration students will note the use of color, line, shape, texture and positive and negative space in the creation of a dynamic yet balanced composition.

2nd grade student example of Matisse-Ray "style" Cut-out Collage with painted paper, books, magazines and other diverse stationary.
2nd grade student example of a Matisse-Ray “style” Cut-out Collage
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4th Grade – The Mola of Panama

4th Grade – The Mola of Panama

Description of the Unit – The Mola, a traditional cloth worn by the Kuna (from the tiny San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama), are quite brightly colored, in contrasting patterns of various shapes, and in the center depicting what is typically an animal, plant or person of special interest to the Kuna. Students will explore the tradition of Molas, noting the use of contrasting colors, abstract patterns as well as noting the contrasting organic shapes of the main subject to the mostly geometric shapes of the background patterns. Students will use their understanding of these elements to create their own interpretation of the Mola in colored construction paper.

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1st Grade – Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square

1st Grade – Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square

Description of the Unit – Students will explore Josef Albers’ series Homage to the Square, using his artwork and our discussion as a guide to creating their own series of squares, concentrating on contrast and depth.

>Josef Albers with one of his paintings from the series Homage to the Square
Josef Albers with one of his paintings from the series Homage to the Square
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7th Grade – Fashion Design

7th Grade – Fashion Design

Description of the Unit – Students will create their own fashion line, featuring at least three different looks that share a unifying theme, be it color, pattern, line or particular article of clothing or accessory.

Photo of a catwalk for men's fashion
Students will attempt to create a fashion line of at least three pieces unified by a theme of some kind
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2nd Grade – Symbolism through a personal collage

2nd Grade – Symbolism through a personal collage

Description of the Unit –

Students will explore the concept of symbolism in art, and how they can use symbols—images—to represent aspects of themselves. Using magazines, books and other random two-dimensional found objects (such as playing cards or ticket stubs), students will carefully arrange symbolic imagery into a collage within a silhouette of their own profile.

2nd grade silhouette collages
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4th Grade – Cubist-inspired Portrait and Figure Studies

4th Grade – Cubist-inspired Portrait and Figure Studies

Cubist-inspired Figure & Portrait Studies

Description of the Unit –

Students practiced aspects of traditional figure study, learning to draw facial features, hands and feet. Students then built on their experience to explore the Cubist approach to the figure, and used what they learned about Cubism to create a cubist-inspired portrait or figure collage their earlier drawings.

4th grade “Cubist” portrait collage
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1st Grade – Pattern Collages

1st Grade – Pattern Collages

Description of the Unit –

Students will reinforce their understanding of patterns in art by creating collage patterns both individually and then in trios for a triptych of patterns.

Activity statement –

Pattern is one of the elements of the visual arts. It is represented as repetition, be it of a color, line, shape, symbol or combination of some or all of these. The repetition can serve to communicate a sense of balance, rhythm, harmony, movement and contrast in the artwork.

1st grade individual pattern collage
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Kindergarten – Ecosystem collages inspired by Eric Carle

Kindergarten – Ecosystem collages inspired by Eric Carle

Description of the Unit –

Integrated with a science unit on ecosystems, students will create an Eric Carle-inspired collage of an ecosystem.

Kindergarten art - Eric Carle-style ecosystem collage
Ocean ecosystem by kindergarten student: for this she used a dolphin stencil to help her

Activity statement –

In kindergarten science students explore an entire unit devoted to ecosystems. They learn about earth’s many ecosystems: climate, flora, fauna and so forth. Each student is assigned a specific ecosystem to research and present to the class. This collage will be one of the visual elements used in their reports.

To inspire the collage-making process, we will look at different Eric Carle books and notice his painted paper collages. Using his techniques as a guide, we will focus on color and texture as students first paint large pieces of paper in single colors and then add texture with the brushes, combs, forks, rollers and other tools provided. These pieces of paper will be used communally among the students for their collages, therefore no one piece belongs to one student.

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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
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