Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2nd Grade Paper Weaving Inspired by Jackson Pollock

I have done some form of Jackson Pollock's action painting every year since I started teaching. Usually, it's a one-day lesson, and the students love it, but there's no more to it than just splattering the paint! I saw this lesson on another blog, and decided to try it with my 2nd graders! The lesson is for 4th grade, so of course I had to be extremely organized to keep the action painting under control with 2nd grade.

The students had very recently learned about warm and cool colors, so I had them make one warm color action painting, and one cool color action painting. The warm color paper was smaller, 9"x12", whereas the cool color paper was a 12"x12" square. I set up 6 stations: red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple. Each color was a cup of watered-down tempera with a large brush, set on top of a spread out sheet of newspaper. The students stood in line for each color, action painted just a little bit (I was very firm with only a little bit of each color), and then switched to another line. They used only warm colors on the warm colored paper, and only cool colors on the cool colored paper.

The following week, we began weaving. First, the students folded their large paper in half with the action painting on the inside. Then, they drew a line with a ruler on the open edge (as opposed to the folded edge), by lining the ruler up with the edge of the page, and drawing along the other side of it. Next, we pretended our scissors were a car, and the line was a stop sign! Cut, cut, cut....stop! They could not cut past the stop line.

On the back of the warm colored paper, the students drew lines with the ruler, about an inch apart. I checked to make sure the lines were drawn the "tall" way, instead of across the paper. Then, the students cut their strips, and the weaving began! Here are some results:

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