I wanted my 5th graders to experience printmaking and I found an excellent lesson to be inspired by, here on another blog: Thomas Elementary Art. While I must admit, he had greater success with his 4th graders on this lesson, I was still pretty pleased with our results, plus I gave them some free/experimental printmaking time at the end.
After I introduced my kiddos with the concept of printmaking, complimentary colors and I showed them some examples we started with our animal sketches on paper. I provided them with plenty of books for them to use as guides when drawing their animals and encouraged them to draw largely and focus just on the head. We sketched our animals and with a dull pencil (sharp ones will rip through the paper) traced them on top of a sheet of foam (same size as paper we sketched on). Once they were traced, we removed the paper and pressed harder into the foam so that our animal stood out. Now it looks like a stamp!
We used the back of our stamps to get solid color printed onto our paper for background colors. I was running low on printing ink, so we printed with acrylic paint but we still used brayers/rollers. I pointed out that we would need to press evenly on the foam to maximize how much paint transferred from the "stamp" to the paper and I reminded them that one of our prints would be done in complimentary colors and the other was a free choice. The acrylic paint dries so quickly and we were transferring most of the paint onto our background papers, so there wasn't an issue with using two different background colors on our foam.
|Cut Foam Printing Option (after use--obviously)|
If they finished early, I allowed them a smaller piece of foam to make a free choice print, or they could continue printing with their animal stamp onto colored paper. It was fun to see them take what they had learned about the stamps-- the ones who struggled were even making comments like, "this time I am going to press harder" or "I'm going to draw this bigger so that you can see all of the details." I love hearing them talk about what they learned, especially when I know they struggled or were unhappy with their results. It shows that they aren't hung up on the product, but the process of getting there!
Photos of the finished work (with some close ups):
|Woodpecker (print pictured with foam piece)|
|Owl (print pictured with foam piece)|
|Hummingbird--this student experimented a lot with her print and I LOVE how her foam ended up; her foam stamp is the bottom piece!|
|Elephant, Cat and Badger (prints pictured with foam pieces)|
|Dove, Baby Monkey Drinking a Bottle, Turtle and Mouse (print pictured with foam piece)|
|Close up of the baby monkey drinking a bottle|
|Fish with Bubbles|
|Lizard Print with Cut Stamp|
|Deer (print pictured with foam piece)|
FREE CHOICE PRINTS!
|Prints and Foam Stamp|
|The prints of this one didn't come out very well, but the foam stamp is beautiful on its own!|
|Turtles, Easter Bunny and Palm Tree prints|
|This guy makes me giggle|
|This student cut up her free choice foam and made a series of stamps to create an outdoor scene|
|Fun with Line and Pattern!|