I recently shared some of Henri Matisse's paintings with my 1st grade students. Then, I told them about his cancer diagnosis in 1941, after which he used a wheel chair and could no longer paint. The students thought he must have been very sad; Matisse loved to paint, and now he couldn't do it!
Then, I told the students that Matisse came up with another idea of how to make art. He began "painting with scissors" by making collages of cut paper! We looked at some of his paper cuttings, and the students noticed some very intricate shapes in his art.
Many students thought the recurring shape seen in La Gerbe looked like marine plants, like a coral reef! We used that idea to create our own collages of marine life. I'm pleased with these results! I told the students that if they needed to draw a shape before cutting, to flip the shape over after cutting so no pencil lines show in the finished art.