Mimic a Master
Children create their own cut-and-clip art.
- Grades: PreK–K
Enhance their fine-motor skills
Express their emotions
Develop their creativity
Colored construction paper 9" x 12''
Colored tissue paper
- colored construction paper 9'' × 12''
- colored tissue paper and small pieces of colored construction paper, markers, scissors
- small paintbrushes
- glue (little cups to mix 1/3 glue and 2/3 water for easy spreading)
Gather a collection of Leo Lionni books for children to use as resources.
Share the book covers and some of the illustrations with children. Ask questions that help children focus and look closely at the pictures. How are the characters made? What does the background look like? Are all the characters made of the same art materials? How did the artist make the sky, ground, animals, and trees? Be sure to discuss how Leo Lionni uses torn and cut paper to create illustrations, a technique known as collage. Tell children they will be able to experiment with this technique, too!
Pass out colored construction paper. Put out glue and different types of paper so children can create their favorite character from one of the stories.
Encourage each child to share his/her picture. Place pictures where everyone can enjoy them. Include some Leo Lionni books in the display.
Remember: Be mindful of children's developmental level when having a dialogue about art. Guide children's descriptive language and help them reflect on their actions, their use of materials, and imagery. Often images change and convey different meanings during the creative process. Model how to spread glue onto paper and how to overlap paper when making a collage.
Suggest that parents make a special batch of sugar cookies with their child. Give instructions on how to mix egg yolk paints. For each color, mix one egg yolk with ¼ teaspoon of water and some drops of food coloring. If mixture is too thick, add a little more water. Suggest families become cookie artists by painting all kinds of designs and pictures on their cookies.
Curriculum Connection: LANGUAGE
Color learning game. Review colors by playing this color 1 tag game. Before beginning, ask children to examine the colors they are wearing. Set up two boundary lines (about 15 feet apart). Choose one child to stand in the river while the other children line up along one of the boundary lines and call out, "Artist, Artist, may we cross your river?" The artist then chooses a color and says, "You can if you are wearing red/blue/green," for example. Those wearing the color called walk safely across, but those not wearing the selected color must run to avoid being tagged by the artist. Those tagged stay in the river and become artists in the next round and help tag others. Continue until everyone is tagged. The last child to get tagged becomes the new artist.