up to my elbows in 4th graders

Penny and I had planned out a new lesson for printmaking on Sunday that involved cutting out stencils from overhead projector sheets and printing several “screens” to give the kids a little understanding of graphic screenprinting.

When Penny called me Monday morning to announce she had succombed to the flu I rearranged the lesson in my head so I could manage it alone. Off to Home Depot before class to purchase some small foam paint rollers (about $2 each), grabbed some cover stock (for stencils in case I couldn’t get overhead sheet projector sheets in the supply room) and an exacto blade.

The class had a jog-a-thon out on the playground that brought them into class a little late but that gave me the time I needed to set up and get prepped.

Set Up
my set up: tempera paint, projector sheets, paint rollers, scissors, paper
and cafeteria trays to ink the rollers.

-made a quickie sample stencil and printed it in two colors to give the kids
an idea of what they would be doing and how overlapping the colors
produces a third color
here I used some design markers to draw and color in a sample stencil
in the first color

on a second projector sheet I drew out another design
-and finally a third. I showed the class they could arrange the stencils any
way they wanted using three different colors. the areas to be cut out are
colored in here to illustrate what happens when you overlap the stencils.
They were told to draw out a simple design/shape and after I cut a slit in the plastic
with the exacto they cut out their design with scissors. At this point Gail showed up
(one of the moms from the class) to help out. Lucky me!!
some kids insisted on drawing out very involved or picture like designs
only to discover that they wouldn’t work as stencils…back to the drawing board for them!
Fortunately, you can just wipe off the design and start over. This student discovered that
big and bold worked best.
they came to the print table in the back of the room in threes and each
student started with printing their own screen first in the color of their choice.
printing their screen stencils as many times as they wanted across the
page in the first color.
next, they traded stencils and colors within the group. after using all three
stencils and colors it was time to bring up the next group.
prints drying in the hall

If I had more time, it would be ideal to give each student 3 projector sheets
and do a more planned out overlay individually. This gave them the basic idea
though and they really loved changing the stencils and seeing what happened
when they overprinted certain areas. They would happily do this project again.
Not sure how much projector sheets cost but they come in boxes of 100- one box
should do it for a class of 30.

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Filed under artists teaching art, Long Beach art, teaching kids art

4 responses to “up to my elbows in 4th graders

  1. carol

    have you seen …0nceuponaschool.org ?

  2. hadn’t but checked it out and they will publish our story just as soon as i find time to write it! thanks-

  3. very very cool. I love how you’ve simplified it so well! I just checked and you can get 100 transparencies for $18. (the ones to be used for printers are more expensive.) I’ll definitely do this proj with my kiddos…

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