Sunday, March 9, 2014

Collage: The Scribble Stage

I think that most art teachers are pretty familiar with the scribble stage when it comes to drawing. But I don't think as many are really in touch with the "scribble stage" of collage and other media. I know that before I started teaching with choice, I was trying to stack as many different objectives into each lesson as I could. So instead of just letting students explore their own ideas and experiment with collage, I might have had them use only geometric shapes and primary colors to show they had learned about Mondrian, or something like that. The scribble stage of collage has been interesting to observe!

The scribble stage thought process sometimes goes like this:
I wonder how many pieces of magazine I can glue to this paper?
I like cats. Let's put a cat on my picture.
Or sometimes there is a connection between the images, even if it's not immediately clear to the viewer. 
Kindergarten collage: The Goose is Swimming
My students start writing artist statements in 2nd grade but 1st graders and Kindergarteners are able to come up with a title that often provides an explanation. Sometimes there's time for Kinders to dictate a couple of sentences to me that I write on the back of their artwork. About half way through the school year, most 1st graders can write a sentence or two on their own.
I wish that I would have kept the magazines out of my collage center for a while so students would have started with regular papers. Too many students of all grades were relying too heavily on finding images, cutting, and gluing seemingly without much thought, instead of making their own images. They are off limits for the time being and I'm doing some mini lessons focused on non-magazine collage techniques. In a few weeks, I'll probably put the magazines back and see if it's made a difference.
This is one of my favorite Kindergarten mixed media projects. Half caterpillar, half octopus, splashing through color! Older students' collage projects coming soon.

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