Designed for grades 4 & 5
Social Studies, Fine Arts, English Language Arts and Reading
Formal Lesson Plan and TEKS Information
Media Type: Printmaking
Activity by: Audra Lambert – Program Manager, Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture
Lesson Plans by: Amber Day Scott – Program Coordinator, Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture
En Español

Activity 1:

Watch this short video about the French artist, Henri Matisse:

What do you notice about his bold, attention-grabbing style? How can shapes and colors be used to communicate an idea without using words?

Activity 2:

Watch this brief video about the evolution of printmaking.

What are the advantages of manufacturing prints rather than relying solely on original artworks? What barriers to access/exposure/comprehension can be eliminated by the printmaking process?

Read more about the history of printmaking here.

Activity 3:

What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Spoon
  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Paintbrush, small roller or your hand.
  • Pencil or pen
  • Paint or ink paper

Use a ruler/straight edge to draw a square or rectangle on the cardboard that is slightly smaller than the piece of paper you will be printing on.

Cut out your cardboard shape. This will serve as your printing “plate.”

Cut small pieces out of the scrap cardboard. You can also use other items such as yarn, bubble wrap, leaves, bits of lace or anything else of similar thickness. Remember to experiment.

Time for Glue! School glue or Mod Podge works great for this project. Spread a generous layer of glue over your entire plate (cardboard), then arrange your shapes and objects into your desired design.

Arrange your shapes and objects into your desired design, and let it dry.

Traditionally, a roller or “brayer” is used to apply the pigment to the plate. If you don’t have a roller or brayer, simply brush or sponge the paint (or in print terms, “Medium”) onto all the raised parts of your design. It is important to act quickly, and not allow the paint to dry.

Carefully lay your paper over the print plate. Be very careful not to slide it around. Almost any kind of paper will work. Newsprint, butcher paper, printer paper or heavy art papers will all work.

Rub the back of the paper to make sure the entire plate gets stamped on the paper. You may use your hand to rub, or even the back of a spoon.

Pull the paper off the plate.

Repeat all the steps as many times as you want. Once you have your cardboard plate, you can reuse it many times.

See if you can make ten prints with your plate. Want to use more than one color? Play with different combinations of colors and see what you like best.

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