As the school year draws to a close, this simple summer collage could be a great way to fit one more fun activity into the class schedule. Students should be allowed to choose from a variety of summer themed art supplies (more detailed suggestions in the supply list below) and use the items they choose to make a collage that represents the plans they already have or things they want to do over their summer vacation. This art project can easily be modified to apply to several grade levels by the inclusion of a writing element and the selection of supplies that are tailored to the suit the age group of the students who will be participating.
This project could be spread over one or two periods of art depending on the supplies and their application, as well as the inclusion of a written element.
- Students will work with a variety of art supplies, making their own decision about which supplies they will use.
- Students should be encouraged to make their collage a coherent expression of their summer plans, either by placing their supplies in a way that conveys an idea or using items to build a picture, though a more free form creative expression should not be discouraged.
- Ask the students to think about and then portray what they want to do in their time off from school. Are they traveling with their family? Attending a summer camp? Do they intend to swim at the pool, go to the park, read books, or watch movies? Give them an example of how to use the supplies provided to illustrate their plans.
- Styrofoam Collage Trays (These are easier to decorate than poster board, especially for younger children; although any sturdy base is appropriate.)
- Die-Cut Summer Themed Shapes, e.g., sunglasses, trees, flowers, water waves, etc. (These paper flowers with diffusing paper can be misted with water to create a tie-dyed effect that is great for a summer collage.)
- Glue Sticks
- Craft Glitter (assorted colors)
- Colored Sand (assorted)
- Pre-cut felt shapes
- Small Seashells
- If applicable, students could be allowed to gather natural elements like twigs, leaves, grass, etc. for use in their collage.
- Detail the intentions of the collage to your students, using an example either prepared beforehand or that can be easily added to as you go from the selection of art supplies available.
- Explain the guidelines for the written part of the project, depending on the age group. (For younger children, this could be as simple as writing their name and decorating the space around it with summer themed shapes, or making their name out of the supplies. For older grades, consider a creative writing instruction – a short poem about what they expect their summer to be like, what they have loved in previous summers, or brief essay about what summer means to them.)
- Let the students decide how they want to incorporate the written part of the project. Do they want to write on the tray and build the collage around it? Write it out and glue it onto their tray? This is at the instructor’s discretion.
- Allow students access to the art supplies to build their collage using glue sticks, felt shapes, glitter, etc. Encourage them to think creatively about how they want to portray what they wrote or how they feel about the coming months.
For more summer-themed activity and lesson plan inspiration, check out these summer Ideas & Resources at Classroom Direct.