A favorite project of mine, that I look forward to each year, is this fabulous collagraph fish printing lesson. I do this printmaking project with 3rd grade.
I have broken this down into a 3 day unit.
Day One is learning about printmaking and how to build a collagraph. Kids often have trouble understanding how to build up the layers so I talk very slowly and probably over-explain, which worked this year. We practice sketching a fish in our Idea Books and then draw the outline of a fish on cardstock or cereal boxes. We cut it out and glue it to our “printing plate”…aka cereal box (I pre-cut the cereal boxes into rectangles).
Day Two is all about building up details and layers. I demonstrate starting large, then adding a medium shape and finally the smallest shape. I usually get my paper edger scissors out along with hole punchers to make the day a little more exciting.
Day Three is printing day! I can print 4 people at a time and they each make two prints. While the kids are waiting to print, they create an underwater picture…I tried an underwater collage today which didn’t turn out very well…so tomorrow I’m switching it to a sharpie drawing that is colored in with crayons. We’ll see how those turn out! (they turned out much better!)
Here’s my printing station in action….
Round One Prints
Sometimes I end up liking the inked up collagraph more than the print itself!
Another class of printers!
I love these.