Mosaic with Phillip Martin
Lesson Plan
Learner Outcomes: .................................................... ....................................................
Line: Appreciate that line is used to represent the world around us
Space: Appreciate positive and negative space around us
Texture: Appreciate that texture is used to enhance realism
Appreciate that texture is used to enhance aesthetics
Form: Appreciate that Art encompasses a variety of 3D forms using various media
Design: Appreciate the concept of complexity/simplicity in design
Materials: 25 sheets of 12" x 18" cardboard
  paper mache solution
  bond paper
  recycled paper scraps
  colored pencils
Vocabulary: Mosaic, Line, Positive and Negative Space, Texture, Complexity, Simplicity

Tying into the study of Rome, students create mosaics. However, they may choose whatever they want as the subject of their art. It would be great if they selected a Roman design - or even a famous painting. But, they may also select an interesting photo, book illustration, or create their own design. They need to be careful not to select something a topic too complex or too simple.

Pieces of the mosaic should be no larger than your smallest fingernail. Yep, kids with very small hands don't like that guideline. However, smaller pieces actually look better.

Helpful hint: Be sure to mix up the paper mache solution a day in advance so it gets thick. If it is too thick, just add water and shake it up in a tupperware dish (with the lid sealed.)

Begin by having the students apply a white layer of paper mache and bond paper on the piece of cardboard to form a background for the project. First cover the edges of the cardboard and then cover the front. As always, I get the cardboard from the boxes in the teachers' photocopy room. Raid the place often and well in advance to be prepared for this activity.

Another Helpful hint: You don't need to give the cardboard a bath with paper mache solution. You should be able to dangle the cardboard above your head without it dripping on you. However, frequently that isn't the case. When the carboard is covered, set it aside to dry.

Still Another Helpful hint: You don't want the white paper to be uneven or rough. If it is uneven when it is wet, it will be uneven when it is dry.

Yet Another Helpful hint: After the cardboard dries, mist them with a little water and then press them flat with old encyclopedias. In these days of the Internet, what else can you use them for? Place one board on an encyclopedia and put another book on top of the board. Continue to sandwich the boards about ten books high.

After work on the background is finished, the students need to plan what they will put on their mosaic. Draw a practice sketch and color with colored pencils.

Apply the mosaic pieces with paper mache solution. It is important that the pieces of paper do not overlap. There should be a small amount of white space around each colored piece of paper. Students will have to cut some of the paper to exactly fit the spaces they want. If pieces are too tiny for fingers to put them in place, use a paper clip or a safety pin.


Copyright 2000, revised 2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.