Happy New Year! This school year seems to have flown by. I can’t believe it is already halfway over! I have been having a very relaxing break and as I am starting to get prepared for getting back into the swing of things, I figured I would share this home run project inspired by Teach and Shoot Blog.
So it has been a while since I have done printmaking with Styrofoam like this. Last year I ended up rage-quitting printmaking with 4th grade because my very well planned out lesson ended up being waaayyyy too complicated. I wanted to be ambitious with the lesson this year but have the kids create something very simple. I think that is the key to printmaking — keep the subject matter simple because the technical aspect can be very difficult. We began by creating an analogous background by making tissue-paper tie dye paper. Students chose colors next to each other on the color wheel and used water to make the tissue paper bleed. I have really been digging this technique lately!
Next, students sketched their Emoji idea. I told them no poop emoji. When we get back from break I am planning on displaying these in the hallways and I simply can’t imagine my admin’s reaction to me hanging up pictures of poop on the walls. So NO POOP EMOJIS!! They pretty much got to choose any other face emoji that they wanted. After they sketched their idea, they used a yogurt cup to trace a circle onto a piece of foam. they used hatching and cross hatching techniques to create contrast in their carving.
I thought a lot about how I wanted the actual printing lesson to go. I have done printmaking in a variety of ways over the past several years. I have used a variety of ink colors and tempera paints. I have had kids roll the ink onto phone books and onto lunch trays. I have had kids print one time, three times, or as many times as possible. I have had a set of supplies per table, per student, or just at one table and called kids over. All of these methods have their pros and cons and really depend on the age and dynamic of the group of kids. This year I figured we would just go for it and each table got two sets of supplies: a small tray, a brayer for rolling ink, and black printing ink to print 4 times on the same piece of paper.
I’ve got to say — I was absolutely astonished at how lovely the process and products turned out! I was really apprehensive (which I even admitted to my students!) about this project being successful. I told my students that I did not want them to feel discouraged about making art. I wanted them to TRY YOUR BEST. Whatever the magical combination was, printmaking went wonderfully.
I am rethinking my dislike for printmaking after seeing these amazing creations!
Great job 4th graders! 🙂
❤ Mrs. K