Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In the Art Room: Collage Paris

A collage montage. Brought to you by some hard-workin', Parisian-lovin' second grade artists.
 As you know, the kids in my art room have been spending some time in Paris. So you'll have to bear with me as every upcoming project I feature for my "In the Art Room" series, is gonna be something Parisian. You might recall last week was the third graders Printed Paris Project. This week, I present to you the second graders Collage Paris. I'm bringing these to you fresh off the drying rack...be careful, the glue is still wet.
 Paris, day and night.

We began this project shortly after completing our suitcase portfolios and our passports. Interested in creating a collaged landscape (it doesn't have to be Parisian, check out our Egyptian version from last year)? It's a whole lotta fun. You'll need the following:
  •  12" X 18" paper
  •  12" X 6" paper
  •  washable tempra paint (I prefer Crayola because the other stuff is junk. Trust me, I've tried it all.)
  •  texture combs 
  •  construction paper
  •  glue cups and glue brushes (I gave up on glue bottles long ago. They clog and the kids stab 'em with pencils and scissors. Give them a little cup with glue and a small paint brush and you'll never go back to the bottle. The GLUE bottle, that is.)
 We began this project with a lesson on with color and value. The 12" X 18" piece of paper that the kids were given was folded into six sections: three at the top and bottom. On the first day we chatted about creating shades and a gradation. We began right above the middle fold, painting the first section blue and adding a bit of black. Each section above that was to be a darker value. 

The following art class, we chatted about tints. Each section below the middle was to be a lighter value of blue. And, viola! A gradated paper.
 On our third art class, we learned how to mix green and created a textured  piece of paper with our texture comb. Don't have texture combs? You can make them by cutting notches into pieces of cardboard. I did that for years. Then I caved and purchased these plastic doohickeys. And I was like, where have these been all of my life?! I love 'em so much, they tend to make an appearance in just about every one of our art projects.

You know my art classes are 1/2 an hour, right? You've heard me belly-ache about that before. I'm an expert belly-ache-r, if you didn't know. So if it seems like my project is broken down into teeny-tiny bite-sized bits, now you know why.
 The following art class, we chatted about collage which is like French for paper and glue. How perfect! The kids were given the choice of having an evening or day time sky by either having the dark value or the light at the top of their paper.. Most opted for the Midnight in Paris vibe. Once that was decided, they were to tear their green paper diagonally, position the torn part on their paper so it created the River Seine and glue down. 

After a chat about painting clouds (if they are near the horizon line, they should be small and grow larger in size as they approach the top of the page) and stars/moon (with a glance at Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night for a ring-lit look) and the sun (all I ask is no sunglasses, puh-lease!), the wee artists were permitted to make their masterpiece their own.
 Before: plain landscape. After: Parisian Paradise!

 After the completion of our collage landscape, we began our study of the famous structures of Paris. After learning the history behind the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame, we learned how to create them. We chatted about how each was symmetrical and could easily be created with a folded piece of paper. The above and below bulletin boards were on display at the front of the room. This allowed the kids to work on each structure at their own pace.
 As we worked on our structures, we kept them safe in an envelope until each was complete.
 Do you remember that groovy group of college kids I had hanging in my art room earlier this school year? Well, I've got a new group and one of them created this awesome bulletin board to help introduce symmetry and the famous Parisian structures to the kids.
 Of course, no introduction is complete without the help of Jes, our school mascot! A kind French friend snapped these photos of Jes around Paris. Thank you so much, Sophie. This has been a wonderful way to excite the kids about exploring the world.
Gotta love an innovative thinker. One of my students wanted his buildings to "pop out". Recalling our paper collages from kindergarten, he folded feet onto the bottom of his houses and glued it so his structures would stand up. Genius!

Love that crooked row of buildings!
Thanks for joining us on our Collage-Landscape Fantasticness! I hope you enjoyed these masterpieces as much as these artists did creating them. Next up: First Grade Hot Air Balloons over Paris. Stay tuned!


  1. C'est magnifique! Bon! Bon!

  2. These are GREAT!!!! I just love them all! :)

  3. YOU are SO Awesome! I cannot imagine all the time you spend prepping...you are such a wonderful art teacher, those kids will remember you For EVER!!
    ps: I am so behind on your blog...trying to catch up, I miss it so!!

  4. Anonymous5/07/2013

    Brillant!! My entire school year theme in the art room has been architecture. We began with animal architects and followed things chronologically. We only got to the Stone Age and a bit of the Greek Roman. We will pick up next year on the Middle Ages and on up. Hopefully we can get to monuments in the Spring next year. Your lesson is perfect and I'd like to do a "take" on it with your permission. Thanks for posting and sharing.

  5. i cannot wait to try this project this year! this is awesome and i love all the steps you mapped out. PERFECT.

  6. Anonymous12/21/2014

    Love this project! I would like to borrow some of your lesson if that's okay. Even my hs French students love to cut and paste. The history/architecture lesson is magnifique! merci.

    1. Of course, that's why I share! Borrow away :)

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing so many fabulous art lessons! I am going to start this project tomorrow for International Languages Day and would love to know how you prep your paint palettes when teaching the kids about tints and shades. Our last art teacher would give each child a folded paper towel with a splodge of paint in the centre and then they would either add white or black. Is there an easier and less messy way to do this? Thanks again, Lorrain


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