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Rainbow Paper Mosaics (K)

Rainbow Mosaics!
EQ: What is a mosaic?

I may be just like every other art teacher in the world - but I HATE to waste materials! I am constantly hoardin....ahh I mean 'holding on' to extra bits of cut paper and scrap paper leftover from projects in hopes that one day I'll be able to find use for it. And I do -eventually.. EVERY time. :) I'm actually quite proud of my ability to do so!
So after making awesomely cute chameleons with my 3rd/4th/5th graders this past week.. I had a TON of extra painted paper scraps left over. The texture and color range of painted paper is WAY to awesome to trash.. so we saved it all.. and I'm glad we did!
"Toy Atlas Rainbow"
by David T. Waller
I decided that I wanted to make paper mosaics with some of the leftover paper.. so I started by viewing a powerpoint with my kinders and first graders (1st grade project to be posted next) that I put together containing a bunch of images of some really colorful mosaics. One of the images in the powerpoint was of a really colorful rainbow toy car mosaic (they LOVED this!) - and that image got us talking about color and more specifically 'rainbow order'.
Then I passed out a sheet of grey construction paper to each of my kinders. First we started by drawing two cloud shapes (or "freeform shapes") in the bottom left and right-hand corners. Then students were told to draw an "arch" all the way from one cloud to the tippy-top of their paper and then back down to the other cloud. After that we drew one 'baby arch' at the bottom (this one is nearly straight). Then we drew a line in the middle cutting our band in half. Then in each half we drew two more lines (until we had 7 lines all together). **As we were drawing I had my kinders counting how many lines they had on their paper to make sure we were all on the same page. Then I asked my kinders to tell me what colors should be in which band - they answered red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet (we omitted 'indigo'). Then using a crayon, we colored tiny dots in each band to help us remember which color belonged there.
Then I demoed the mosaic-making to my kinders.
First I demonstrated how to tear the big scraps of painted paper into tiny pieces and organize them by color on a Styrofoam lunch tray (I colored the bottom of each tray compartment with a different color using crayon to help them stay organized).
Then I started on my big grey paper by putting liquid glue (squeezed from the bottle) in one band on my rainbow and used an old paintbrush to "paint the glue" evenly. Then I placed torn bits of painted paper onto the band of glue. I explained to my kinders that mosaics are like putting together puzzles... you don't stack the pieces up, you fit them together (this helps them remember to refrain from overlapping pieces). Then once the color band was completely done, I showed them how to pour even more glue on top of the paper and use the paintbrush to paint all the torn bits flat onto the grey paper. *This really helps to make sure the pieces are securely attached.
Once they were completed, students used a mixture of shaving cream and glue to add a puffy texture to their clouds using a plastic spoon (iridescent glitter was sprinkled over-top). 
I LOVE LOVE LOVE these cute rainbows! The only thing I would think about changing is potentially using a more blue-grey paper (although I used grey because I was short on blue).. and potentially giving them a bit more time. My kinders had two days to work on these (40 minute classes) and only a few of them finished.. they definitely could have used a third class.
When I teach this lesson next week I'm also going to begin by reading the book "Pezzettino" by Leo Lionni - which lends itself PERFECTLY to talking about mosaic art.


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