September 20, 2019

Art on the Cheap: Torn Paper Mosaics

Teaching in an extreme situation where you are short on everything, including scissors? Here’s a lesson idea I got years ago from a frugal art colleague in Micronesia. Bonus? It’s one of those great lessons that can be used from early primary through high school.

The project? Torn paper mosaics. The flexibility? Nearly endless. Useful for covering nearly every topic through art integration, this lesson basically requires copy paper, glue sticks, pencils and colored scraps of paper. Yes, that’s all.

· Basically, you select a topic (pumpkins, multi-cultural landscape elements, modern art shapes, etc.) and make sure your colors of paper scraps fit with the assignment.

· Students lightly sketch outlines for elements in the mosaic picture.

· Colored bits of paper are torn and glued to form the elements of the picture, leaving slight spaces in between to represent the grout. Filling in all areas, including the sky as a background, really adds drama and zip to the student pieces.

To easily modify the lesson for various grade levels, simply adjust the detail and size of the mosaic assignments. Voila! A dirt cheap art project for all topics and grade levels. We’ve got your back.

Photo Credit: Chris Robinson 1945

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