1st Grade Animal Shapes Collage

For this first grade project we begin by reading “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” taking the time to carefully examine the many colors and textures within each animal illustrated by Eric Carle. I also share a video of Carle working and discussing his creative process.

My young artists then learn how to draw from observation using a combination of geometric and organic shapes.

Over the years I have acquired different animal toys/figures for my young artists to choose from. For the first day of this project, we practiced drawing from observation in our sketchbooks and used our imaginations to create a habitat for our animals.

After practicing in their sketchbooks, they then draw their animal onto a larger sheet of paper. Next, they use crayons to add a bit of color and texture before adding a layer of watercolor paint.

Afterwards, we learned about horizon lines to understand how artists can create a sense of space in their work. Using this knowledge their imaginations, my young artists paint a habitat for their animals. We start with pencil, trace in sharpie, add texture with crayons, and end with watercolor paint.

Once dry, we go over basic scissor cutting skills and my first grade artists carefully cut out their animals. After arranging where they wanted their animal to be in their final composition, they attached their animal to their habitat.

Instead of glue bottles I have been using these small glue containers with a brush in the lid (sort of like nail polish). After years of trying out different glue systems this is definitely my favorite! You can find them online by searching for 'Refillable Glue Bottle and Brush.'

Finally, my young artists wrote a brief artist statement that will be displayed beneath their work. I created a word bank in English y Español to help them to fill in the blanks! The statement reads "I used shapes to create a drawing of a _____ living in a _____." "Usé figuras para dibujar un _____ viviendo en un _____."

Student Art