Sunday, February 13, 2011

Styrofoam Prints

I'll be starting this week's 2nd Grade lesson with the book, Why is Blue Dog Blue?, by George Rodrigue.

I am planning a short directed lesson on drawing a dog. Students will be working on a small piece of paper (4 1/4" X 5 1/2"). They can make line or shape patterns around the border.

Children will place their drawing on a piece of styrofoam cut to the same size and transfer their picture by tracing over their lines.

Next, it's on to the paints and printing. I know I want the kids to make multiple prints and I know I don't want 500 little prints all over the room for me to organize later, soooooo... using the same size as noted above, I pre-cut newspaper and some great colored printing paper I found in a cupboard (oh, boy!!) and glued them onto a piece of regular copy paper in diagonal corners. Yes, gluesticking to prepare 150 printing papers took a little while (as I watched TV), but I think it will save me a BUNCH of headaches next week, and allow me to finish this project in one day. If I were doing this as a regular classroom teacher, I would probably have the kids print each small print, let them dry, and gluestick their own prints to the larger sheet on a following day.

At any rate, kids will then ink their plates using brayers (and brushes) and pull their prints. I plan on having set ups of black and one other color at each table.

Since we will be using more than one color of ink, I'll have buckets outside for the kids to wash and dry their plates, brushes and brayers before printing their second color. Unfortunately, I hear we are expecting rain, so I'll have to move the buckets from the patio to our hallway  -- a little less desirable, but "Oh, well."

When these are dry, if I can work it in time-wise, I'd like kids to add detail colors using markers, something like this:


  1. You are so clever! I love the pre separated paper. Thanks a ton!!! I love your blog.

  2. ooohhh I never knew about this book!!! I always wanted to do a blue dog project because my special dog's name was blue and I got Blue Dog prints in his honor! Thanks! As usual I am afraid of printmaking with styrofoam I have not had too much success! I will look forward to seeing you do it better than I do!!!! I'm sure you have a better system!

  3. Erica - I was at Rodrigue's gallery in Carmel last summer and he has a new Blue Dog book out, too, but I don't remember the name of it. You might be interested in looking it up. Hope we hear good baby news from you soon!! Take care. Christie

  4. Love this idea. I wanted to do ink prints, but was not sure of 'what' to have students draw. Now I see the cohesiveness in a theme. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Erica,

    I have been thinking of a printing project to do with my 3rd and 4th graders.

    Your project is inspiring; and I might dare to try it next week.

    I am thinking maybe an elephant based on the book " Elmer"

    Thank you for posting.