Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Art
- a large appliance box (or several large sheets of oaktag securely taped together)
- pencils, markers, crayons
- old magazines and catalogs
- plain paper
Objective: Children will work together to design a large puzzle.
Prepare: Cut apart a large cardboard appliance box. Flatten it and use it as the drawing area that will become your puzzle. (You can also use pieces of oaktag taped together.) With a marker, divide the surface into puzzle pieces - one piece for each child in your class and one for yourself. Place an X on each piece to indicate which side is the top. Cut out the shapes.
1 Give children their puzzle pieces and ask them to illustrate something they remember about the year, such as an accomplishment, a special area of the room they enjoyed working in, a favorite book, or a project they are proud of.
2 Provide a variety of art materials so children can draw, paint, cut out pictures from magazines, or combine different materials to create their pieces. Remind everyone to use the side of the cardboard on which the X is written.
3 Invite everyone to share the completed puzzle pieces and be sure to share yours too.
4 Work as a group to put the puzzle together. You can also ask children to think about how they are like puzzle pieces that come together. Encourage them to reflect on some of the things they accomplished over the school year that required them to work cooperatively. Record their comments.
5 Turn your puzzle into an end-of-the-year mural that celebrates group unity and accomplishments. Find a large area to exhibit the puzzle and, together, write a description of the process and purpose of the puzzle activity.
Spin-Off: Make Friendship Puzzles. Invite children to create small personal puzzles to give to friends or family members as end-of-the-year momentos. Provide drawing materials and small sheets of oaktag or cardboard. Children can create pictures or write special messages. You may need to help them cut their drawings into several puzzle shapes. Place the pieces in small plastic zip-lock bags or envelopes for safe keeping.