Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cutting Layers

I almost forgot to share the following activity with you and wanted to do so before we take it down from the hallway...

Watching the children complete art activities is so inspiring - each child so different from the next...  It is no wonder how one lesson can have so many different outcomes.  This activity has been engaging the students not only in cutting paper, but also in concepts of symmetry and shadowing.  I thought using two papers at the same time for a paper cutting lesson would add an interesting dimension.  Up until this point, my students have only worked with one piece at a time, so this has been an exciting project to complete.
Pairs of squares which are stapled together (3, 4, and 5 in. squares); white construction paper which has been lightly folded in half lengthwise; basket with scissors, pencil, and glue stick.
The child places one pair of squares from each size/color into the basket, selects a piece of white paper, and takes all materials to a table.  Once the workspace is set up with the basket on the right left hand side, the child proceeds to cut a shape into the first set of squares.
Here, the child has set everything up, cut two shapes from the blue set, and is cutting the second shapes from the yellow squares.
When all shapes from each set of squares have been created, the child arranges them on the white paper.  They can either layer the two shapes which are the same to create a shadow effect, or place them symmetrically on the paper.   Some children have even done both, creating a layered, symmetrical collage!
This photo shows how the child has placed the shapes symmetrically on the paper and is now gluing them into place.
I love, love love, how these have turned out!  Here are some of them in our hallway:

Collages:  Cutting Layers
By the way, one reason I take so much time to document our art activities is so that parents of my students can understand all that a project entails.  When they walk down the hall towards our classroom, it is my hope that these pieces are viewed not simply as 'kid art,' but as carefully crafted creations with much thought and purpose behind them.


  1. My son has just developed an obsession with cutting paper! I don't think he's able to cut specific shapes, but the idea of using two sheets of different colours could lead to a matching activity - thanks for the great idea!

  2. Maria, Thanks for your kind comment!

  3. You're welcome, Randalin. I'm glad you can use this idea with your son. It really has been a great way to incorporate matching and symmetry. Thanks for reading!