Thursday, March 16, 2017

Winter Scene

This is one of those happy accidents that I discovered years ago, early in my teaching days.  Someone had accidentally left the laminator rolling.  Yep, the whole roll went through the laminator.  Luckily it wasn't a brand new roll.  But still, we all know how valuable the laminator is and once we run out of lamination for the year...that's it.
I happily took the roll, not knowing what to do with it, and later deciding to do a project with tissue paper, probably months later.  I just cut up squares of colored tissue and made a mix of glue and water. The kids just "painted" a section of glue and laid down the tissue squares overlapping.
We discovered that several layers are best.  Once it is dry, you just peel it away and you have this beautiful sheet of color.  The best part is the beautiful surprise on the back (the side sticking to the plastic).  It comes out shiny and more of a stained glass look.  And if your lucky, some of the colors have bleed together!
That first project, that I probably don't even have a sample for anymore, was a project that I did with Romare Bearden.  We drew instruments that would be used in a Jazz band, and painted them black.  They turned out great, the black was a great contrast to the bright colors.

This time around, I decided to do the tissue paper with a much younger group, 1st grade.  Instead of doing individual stain glass pieces, we worked as a table group to make one large piece that would be cut apart.  
This is where multiple layers is best, cutting into the tissue is much easier if it is thick, especially for the younger grade levels.
The first graders each cut out three trees that were added to their blustery winter scenes.  These pictures don't do them justice, but they really are beautiful.
I wish you could see the shininess to the trees, but you'll just have to trust me.  So, if you find yourself with an offer to take run off from the laminator...take it!  If no one is offering, put an empty box beside the laminator.  The beginning of the year is a great time to get those large pieces that come off the end.
You'll have a fun activity for your kids, you'll have a piece that makes everyone happy (kids, parent, teachers and administration), it's cheap!!, and you will be reusing something that would otherwise be thrown in the trash.  I think that is a win-win.