I like Christmas as much as anyone, but when I only see my students once a week, every moment counts when it comes to meeting curriculum objectives...even during holiday weeks! So for this year's first grade December project, I decided to introduce a simple printmaking technique using liquid tempera, paper towel tubes, and of course, lots of glitter!
Each round table in my art studio seats 4-5 students, so I prepared two pans of green tempera and a collection of cut up paper towel tubes for each table group. The students wrote their names on a 12x18" sheet of 80# multi-media paper before we began...so important since many of the trees will look very much the same at the beginning! I demonstrated how to start with a single circle at the top, then add two overlapping circles below the first one, followed by three, and so on until the desired number of overlapping circles were created. Before the paint dried, I went around the table with my container of glitter and gave each tree a generous sprinkle of the lovely, shiny bits of joy! The students let their paper "rest" while they washed up, then each took his or her project to the large trash can for a shake down before placing it on the drying rack until the following week.
When the students arrived the next week, we were ready to decorate the trees. I had a roll of gold sticky backed paper which I cut into squares for the stars. The students traced tagboard star patterns (made using our workroom Accu-cut machine), peeled off the backing, and stuck them to the top of the tree. Any scraps could be used to make ornaments or gifts for under the trees. We used red tempera to make thumbprint ornaments to decorate the trees, which the students thought was great fun! To make the red tempera "stamp pads", I folded and soaked paper towels, put one in each pan, then used a brush to fill the wet paper towel pad with red tempera. Although I had to frequently refill the makeshift stamp pads, the color was much brighter than the color from any purchased stamp pad.
One of my personal favorites is this one. The sweet little boy told me his tree had solid gold booster rockets and was headed into outer space! Gotta love first graders and their imaginations!