Thursday, March 13, 2014

3rd Grade Collagraph Quote Prints

Finished board - letters placed as mirror image.
Finished print of the board above. Sweeeeeeeet.
I can't tell you enough how much I enjoy printmaking. It's just fantastic. I graduated from Columbus College of Art & Design without ever taking a single printmaking class. I was an illustration major and simply didn't have time to fit any printmaking classes into my schedule. I've slowly created a pretty good printmaking lesson for each elementary grade level I teach. This is a new lesson for this school year and I think the results speak for themselves. I got the idea from The Calvert Canvas Blog through Pinterest and modified it to fit well for my 3rd grade students. 

This has been the year of writing new lessons for each grade level. One of the goals I had this year was to create at least two new lesson plans for each grade level. It looks like I'll be able to hit my goal pretty easily. Every time I add a new lesson, it's like a little burst of fresh energy into the art program. I added this lesson for two main reasons. First, I hadn't had a 3rd grade printmaking project previous to this year. Second, collagraph printmaking was a nice step up from the 2nd grade "Wild Things" project.

The goal for this lesson was for students to choose a quote that had personal meaning. After choosing their quotes, students did two typography layout sketches, did a quick critique with a friend, then did a final sketch. Each student got a piece of foam (see the top image) and drew out their quote as block or bubble letters. They then cut them out (with me cutting insides of smaller letters with an x-acto knife) and arranged them as a mirror image of their quote on a piece of chip board. This was a pretty challenging step for many students. I think next year I'll get out a few mirrors so students can self check their work. 

Once I OK'd the mirror layout of the typography, students glued down the letters with a glue stick. I had everyone do a clear coat of acrylic medium on top in order to seal the chip board. I had dreams of them being easily cleaned off, but I realized soon after the first class printed that we wouldn't be able to save the printing boards. I do think that the acrylic helped to provide extra adhesive power for the letters. A few kids that didn't coat their work well with acrylic did loose a few letters when inking their board with a brayer. I may try substituting Elmer's glue for the glue sticks next year and skip the acrylic. I'm still super pumped about this lesson. It will be an art show star this spring. 

(The full lesson plan will be coming soon...it currently exists as some notes and sketches on a scrap of drawing paper. You know how it is...) 

8 comments:

sallgood said...

Very cool. After inking the plates, how did you have students pull the print? Did they lay paper on top or put the plate down on paper…or do you have a press?

Zach Stoller said...

Good question. I need to update the post I guess. I had the kids ink the plate with the brayer, then pressed the plate onto their paper. They used a clean brayer to press down extra hard on the back of the plate.

Natural Woman said...

Thank you for sharing this! I will be trying this with my students. How long did the lesson take? Were you able to finish it in one class period, and how long is your class period? I see my students once a week for 50 minutes.

Zach Stoller said...

I think my 3rd graders wound up taking 5 45 minute classes for this project. One day to introduce and choose a quote. Two days to cut the letters out of the foam. One day to print. One day to mount on black paper and do an artist statement.

Ashley said...

Thank you for posting this really cool project! How did you inspire students to choose quotes, or what resources did you have available for them to do this? Also, do you have a post on artist statements and your procedures for this? I would love to start doing something like that in my art room! Thanks!

Zach Stoller said...

Ashley- I printed out a pretty long list of inspirational quotes, etc. Students can pick one of those or use one they already know. I don't have a post about the artist statements I use, but I'd be happy to do one sometime soon. Good idea!

andrea said...

these are so great! did you use block printing inK? also, what kind of paper did you use? this paper is so vibrant, the quotes really POP!

Zach Stoller said...

Block printing ink on construction paper. Simple, but great results.