Objective: To enhance children’s visual art and writing through the use of tissue paper
Time: 30-45 minutes (writing varies)
Grades: Kindergarten +
- Elmer’s Glue or white liquid glue
- Small container
- Tissue paper
- Construction paper
- Other mediums of your choice (macaroni, corn kernels, glitter)
Lesson for Tissue Paper Activity
1. Select the size, color, and type of paper you will want to glue tissue paper on. We used construction paper.
2. Fill a small container with ½ water and Elmer’s glue, and stir. Make sure you have a loosened consistency, not thick. This will become the ‘new glue’ to brush onto the construction paper, as well as over the tissue paper so it adheres nicely.
3. Decide what background you will create. You can help students with some topic suggestions, like Under the Sea in the example above.
4. Lay out the paper, ‘new glue’, and cut your choice of tissue paper into squares or actual shapes needed to create your visual background and topic.
5. Brush a thin layer of the glue directly onto the paper, and then place the tissue paper on top of the paper and apply another brush of glue on top. If the tissue paper is not entirely covered, it will eventually curl and flake off. Don’t worry if the paper moves and crumples up. When it dries, it will create a textured look that will help bring the art to life.
6. Enhance your visual by adding other elements with glue, like macaroni or glitter.
7. When the picture has dried, use a dark marker to trace certain elements in order to add more detail. Be creative!
Decide the focus of your writing lesson. The point of using visual imagery is to create an inspired motivation for your students to create before their writing occurs. Allow your students to create and orally present their writing. Perhaps you can assess for presentation skills and/or comprehension of subject matter. Create a checklist of various objectives or skills you are looking for and be sure to make the students aware of your expectations.
Other Ways to Use This Lesson:
When children are engaged in free exploration with a variety of art mediums and techniques, their writing will be easily stimulated by color, texture and movement. The modalities become inspired images for the creator of the artwork. When your students discover these images, they will be ready to begin their creative writing.
If you have limited time, try using silhouettes. Glue a mosaic tissue paper background and let it dry. Cut your subject out of black paper and glue to the mosaic tissue paper background. This simple process will enable your students to create a visual quickly and creatively. You may choose to let your students glue this visual to a larger piece of construction paper, creating a natural border. Perhaps you would suggest cutting out other elements to glue on top of the completed picture, adding dimension and intrigue. For instance, you can add blades of grass with different colored green paper or colorful flowers to complement the background.
Your writing genres will vary. You can write poetry, a story, write about the main idea of a story, write a retell, research facts about your topic, write an informational paragraph, and write a riddle, and more. Try having your children write various descriptive words on small pieces of paper, cut and glue all around the visual or border as a frame. Attach their writing creatively and enjoy the outcome. This will ultimately improve writing scores through art and hands-on fun!
About the Author:
Kim Waltmire is a state and national award-winning educator. She holds an honorary seat with the 2006 USA Today All-Star Teacher team. Kim is a graduate from CCSU with a Masters in Early Childhood Education. She published a writing & literacy book; Picturesque Writing, now self-published as The Art of Visual Writing for elementary teachers K-5. Kim also published a Read-Along Series for primary grades, coupled with spelling, grammar, science and social studies lessons for k-12 with a home-school company. Her writing and Project Based Learning strategies were recognized and published in the Creative Classroom Teacher’s magazine; May/June 1998 issue. She was recognized for her educational contributions and Project Based Learning by Oprah Winfrey, interviewed on CNN, Fox News, and honored by the CT State Governor several times. Kim has taught elementary school for 28 years and presently an Educational Literacy Consultant. Kim’s passion is teaching writing literacy for all learning styles.