I introduced my fourth graders to monoprinting and it was a huge success. We had done some printmaking back in November for the Day of the Dead (lesson here) but this was our first time with monoprinting. I asked my students to guess what they thought a monoprint was. Based on my finished example I had hanging up, most of them guessed things about symmetry. But eventually, one of my students said "mano a mano" which with a few prompting questions, led them to realize that it meant "one." And since we were making monoprints, it must mean that we could only make one print...right? Then came my explanation. I told them that a monoprint is something that cannot be reproduced exactly the same, ever again.
We were going to be working on these while we glossed our clay monsters. And since glossing didn't take very long, we needed something else to do. So I demonstrated all of the steps and set them on their way while I manned the clay glossing table.
I told them we would make our vases first (using a fold and cut for symmetry method) which I demonstrated. They would glue it to their background paper and then go into printmaking. I had a stack of small papers (approx 3"x3" in size) at each table along with four colors of paint-red, blue, white and green. The students would save the green paint for flower stems and leaves, but the red, blue and white paints could be used for flowers and stamen (if wanted). I showed them how they could put a few blobs of each color of paint on on the paper, fold the paper in half to squish the paint around, open it up and press and rub that onto our paper where we wanted flowers. I showed them how they could layer flowers if one didn't print well and that none of them would look the same. They used a new piece of scrap paper for each flower (and they could keep the papers if they wanted to). After they had at least four flowers, I asked them to add stems, leaves and if they wanted to, stamen to their flowers. They could also decorate their vase if they had time. They had a blast making them and they came out so beautifully! It was the perfect lesson to keep them occupied while I helped gloss monsters just a few kids at a time. Now, if only we had Spring weather to go with our decorative hallways!