Last month, we studied the work of M.C. Escher (1898-1972) the "father" of tessellations. For those of you not in the know, a tessellation is a repeating pattern consisting of shapes that fit together on a plane and repeat without overlapping or leaving gaps. Think of a soccer ball or a honey-comb pattern.
Back in my elementary art teacher days, I used to do a fun lesson with my fifth grade students creating unique tessellations with cut index cards that the students traced and filled a piece of drawing paper with color and whimsy. When I saw that we were studying Escher in February and I needed to do a lesson with my Kindergarteners I decided to keep it simple. No hand-cutting complicated shapes that have to fit together perfectly, instead I just blew-up xerox copies of the birds and fish from Escher's black and white woodblock print "Fish Bird Sky"
I needed an easy lesson that would display well for March's school-wide Youth Art Month display. To make my life easier, I gave each student a large blank paper fish to color and cut out. I demonstrated some magic marker and crayon resist techniques. Their favorite was how to write secret messages with white and yellow crayons then color over them with darker marker colors to reveal the image/message. Then I assembled them all into a big paper collage with xerox copies of the birds, like a glue-it-yourself jig-saw puzzle!
Adorable Giant M.C. Escher reproduction
Great Hallway Display
Co-operative class project
Memorable Art Lesson for Kindergarteners and at least one of their mothers.