Younger students are still developing early literacy skills and the ability to communicate through writing. Collage is a powerful visual artistic medium through which they can express their ideas, understandings and feelings.
- Gather magazines, newspapers, catalogs and other recycled images to use.
- Share examples of and define collages with students.
- Adapt the sample rubric into a visual checklist. Refer to the rubric to define expectations and components of effective collages before students begin working.
- Verbally introduce students to the preparatory steps included in the Do Something Planning Guide. Instruct them in the process of mapping the steps necessary to prepare their collages.
- As a class, brainstorm possible content for the collages. Review topics, themes or messages from the text library. List students’ concerns and ideas in a location visible to the whole class.
- Share materials with students. Encourage them to experiment with combining different images based around a text-based theme of their choosing. Help very young students cut out desired images.
- In addition to recycled materials, students can also add in their own illustrations, words and phrases to emphasize social justice, anti-bias or diversity issues from the central text. Students can also include possible solutions or imagined changes that relate to their concerns.
- Instruct students to write a description to accompany their collage and the concern and ideas represented. Alternative, younger students can orally describe their work.
- Invite visitors to a gallery walk to view the collages. Consider including:
- Other classes
- Other grades
- Members of greater school community
- Invite visitors to leave comments, connections and questions for the artists on sticky notes.
- If students feel comfortable, consider displaying the portraits outside of the classroom so other members of the school community can observe students’ work.
- Facilitate a class discussion or assign students to write a journal entry. Possible topics include:
- Reflecting on the process of creating the collage;
- Describing how their collage connects to central text themes;
- Considering how their collage can impact the community;
- Envisioning possible solutions to concerns.
English language learners
Collage gives students the opportunity to express issues in a visual appealing format that does not have a heavy language component. The learning modalities of this task are mainly spatial/artistic, intrapersonal, and linguistic.
Connection to anti-bias education
This task allows young students to express their thoughts and feelings about important social justice issues. The visual component of the task allows each student to explore the powerful combination of images and ideas. Students and members of the school community can gain deeper insight into issues students care about by observing each other’s work.