Printmaking with Kindergarten

Teaching art to Kindergartners is super fun but can be challenging.  At the beginning of the school year one of the lessons I like to do with kinders is printmaking…well actually this is more of a mixed media lesson; but we get the ball rolling with print making.

Why do I like to start with this lesson?

  1. Students start observing and talking about elements of art in an artwork where they can identify the subject (the castle) but it is also abstract enough that they develop their own ideas.
  2. Students start with the most basic art element: line, and use it to make basic and complex shapes.
  3. Students start experimenting with color mixing.
  4. This lesson gets the kiddos using art vocabulary right away.
  5. Students start using homemade tools (a piece of cardboard) to make art.
  6. Students start learning how to use materials safely and responsibly.

Materials List:

  1. Heavy drawing paper.
  2. Cut up cardboard, I cut my pieces in rectangles about 3 inches long. Cups for making the sun/moon
  3. Watered down acrylic paint.  I used tempera paint one year and when it came time to paint, the tempera smudged.
  4. Trays to put paint on
  5. Crayons…this year we used them to create a resist.
  6. Liquid water color…I love Dick Blick!  I usually dilute it a bit.

We start the lesson by looking at Paul Klee’s Castle and Sun. 

I found this image here: http://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Paul_Klee/castle.jpeg

I start by asking the kids what they see…they come up with so many great observations, not just shapes and colors, but a few will talk about texture and the type of color…YAY!

I give a short demo on how to print, not paint, with the cardboard.  Each year I usually end up with a few painters, but I just roll with it.  I do not have any photos of the printing process…but here’s an example of what the kiddos create before they start painting.

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We usually don’t start painting until the next lesson so the lines and shapes can dry.

We started the next lesson talking about the color in Klee’s work and  identifying some of the colors he uses.  Students used crayons to add some texture before hand to see the magic of a resist.  I love day two of this lesson because of the excitement of mixing colors!  Here are some of the results of the kiddos hard work…..

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Take care and thanks for reading!

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