Transparent Hearts Early Childhood
The Art Problem
Help young children understand
transparency and introduce them to
warm and cool colors.
Students will choose warm or cool
colored tissue paper to create a
translucent design on transparency
bleeding tissue paper cut up into
1" ( 2. 5 cm) squares, 5 x 5" ( 12. 5
x 12. 5 cm) transparency film, glue,
die cut shape out of black paper
1. Discuss warm and cool colors by
talking about the heat of the sun
and the cool water of a pool.
2. Have students talk about things
that are transparent such as win-
dows, water, and glass.
3. Give each student a piece of
transparency film taped to card
4. Put out trays of tissue paper and
have students choose warm or cool
colors with which to create their
5. Have students glue the tissue
paper to the film until it is com-
pletely covered with color.
6. After the tissue has dried, stu-
dents should sandwich the film
with two pieces of black paper that
have a die-cut shape cut out of
them. Staple or glue all three layers
Did students stick to their chosen
color schemes? Did students overlap
the tissue paper to create additional
Finished designs could be used to
create greeting cards or ornaments
for different occasions. This lesson
could also be used as an introduc-
tion to stained glass.
By Tisha Burke, art teacher
at Greenville Elementary in
Warrenton, Fauquier County,
Artwork by Reid Soliday, preschool.
Magnificent Magazine Miss Middle School
The Art Problem
How can students better under-
stand shape, color, composition,
and collage by assembling maga-
zine pages and newspaper scraps?
Students will create different parts
of a “Magazine Miss” (or Mister,
if they choose) and learn different
techniques to fold, bend, curl, and
assemble a collage using magazine
pages and magazine scraps. Stu-
dents will learn how to use a variety
of shapes and colors to create a
old magazines and newspaper,
utility knives, scissors, heavy-duty
serrated-edge shears, hot glue
guns, glue sticks, foam board,
1. Show students examples of
recycled art that uses newspaper
2. Provide each student with one
sheet of foam board and ask them
to outline different body parts in
3. Have students cut out (with
supervision) the parts from the
foam board using a utility knife or
heavy-duty serrated-edge shears.
4. Have students cut out pages of
magazines and newspapers. Dem-
onstrate how to roll and curl maga-
zine pages tightly to create strips for
hair, then demonstrate how to cut
out strips to create clothes and skin.
5. Have students place their strips
on each individual body part. Dem-
onstrate how to use a glue gun
safely, then glue the strips onto the
6. When all the paper is glued
down, have students trim the excess
paper off the edges of the boards.
7. Once all the parts are collaged,
use the glue gun to join the differ-
ent parts of the body and create
their Magazine Miss or Mister.
To what extent did student’s art-
work express an understanding of
collage, mixed media, composition,
and color to create the shape of a
By Cindy Hasio, teaching fellow
and Ph.D. student in art education at the University of North
Modeling Science with Art Elementary
The Art Problem
How can students successfully dem-
onstrate the things they learn in
science class through art?
After a unit in which we extracted
pigments from fruits and vegetables
and used those pigments to paint
pictures, we took our learning one
step further: We modeled what we
had learned using modeling clay!
1. Each student explained a fact
that he or she had learned during
the unit and modeled a character
or scene that could explain the
learning. For instance, one student
explained the four types of plant
pigments and the colors that can
be made from them by creating a
model of a person explaining the
four types. Another student mod-
eled a scientist holding a bottle and
talking about extracting pigments.
Modeled cheerleaders cheered
about the extracted colors from
fruits and vegetables.
2. Each student was given access
to several colors of modeling clay.
The clay was then manipulated and
sculpted to explain/portray the fact
by using a stylus and simple clay
3. Modeled clay figures were
attached to a colored piece of mat
board that each student colorized
with paint, clay, etc.
4. Captions were typed on the
computer and glued to the display
board. I photographed each scene
and we put together a PowerPoint
presentation to explain our learn-
By Karen Skophammer, art
instructor for Manson Northwest Webster Schools in Barnum
and Manson, Iowa.
Compositional Connections High School
The Art Problem
How can students explore effective
ways to create unity within a composition?
Students will use a variety of design
strategies to link two dissimilarly
shaped images. For my class, I
chose an anatomical heart and a
drawings of two dissimilar images
(from students’ previous work in
their sketchbooks or examples from
a book or the Internet), sketchbook,
pencils and erasers, ball-point pens
and permanent markers (black),
other media suitable for working in
1. Prior to class, show and discuss
examples of a variety of composi-
tional strategies including cropping,
under- and over-lapping, “echo”
lines, etc. Encourage students to
add to your list if desired.
2. Challenge students to build visu-
ally unified compositions around
two dissimilar images by incorporat-
ing a variety of the design strategies
3. Gently push students to experiment with strategies that are outside of their comfort zone to produce a more unified, but also more
complex, visually interesting and
Ask students to trade sketchbooks
with a classmate and, on a card
that can be glued into the owner’s
sketchbook, each student identifies
and analyzes his or her partner’s
use of the compositional strategies.
They should answer the question,
“How did the student’s use of the
compositional strategies affect principles of design such as emphasis,
variety, and movement?” If appropriate, each student may also interpret the meaning of their partner’s
Translate sketchbook compositions
into larger, finished works of art.
By Betsy DiJulio, an NBC art
teacher at Princess Anne High
School in Virginia Beach, Virginia.