Friday, August 5, 2011

Pacific Coast Regatta

Last May, Jacquelien at Kids Artists posted a collage project with sailboats that reminded me of something I saw on Mary's blog, Marymaking, back in March of 2010. Since our school is mere blocks from the Pacific Ocean, both ideas "spoke to me." I loved Jacquelien's idea of tearing the strips of paper for the water, creating the whitecaps from the tearing. Also loved the idea of sandpaper for the sand, but that is not in my budget. I also loved Mary's idea for the texturized water and the painted sails, ala Eric Carle. So I sort of combined those ideas and added a few extra touches here and there.

Our Content Standards include background, mid ground and foreground in seascapes, as well as overlapping and size difference to create the illusion of space. So, here is the variation of this lesson we will be doing in 3rd Grade this year:

On Day 1 kids will be painting water with blue and green tempera on plain copy paper (from the computer). I added some white using my new bread dough rollers (for a little extra movement).
Next, they'll use a light wash of watercolor for the sky and sponge paint on watercolor for the sand.

We may have time to start on the boats during the first session, but if not, we can make them on Day 2. Kids will cut 3 different sized rectangles for the hull. They'll need to cut a thin "mast" first, and then make 2 angled cuts to make a trapezoid.
After gluing the mast to the body of the boat, it will be time to make the triangle shaped sails. This provides an opportunity to talk about right angles and direction (a little math worked into the lesson here!). I made my sample sails from paper taken from magazines. Students can either make their sails that way, or design and color their own. I want them to think about color and pattern choices and how the placement of colors will enhance the overall piece.
The water is created by tearing semi-straight strips, which will create white edges.
I tore one plain white strip to glue on the very front to resemble waves. The trickiest part of the assemblage was gluing the overlapping strips and inserting the sailboats between them so that there would be a bit of overlap of the boats. I anticipate the gluing process to be difficult for some, so I'll suggest gluing one side of all the strips first, to give the piece some stability.
The sides cam be trimmed after all the sailboats and water strips are glued down.
My last step was to splatter some white and light blue paint to give the idea of splashing waves. (That added a LOT to the over-all effect). If we have time, we may add umbrellas, beach pails, etc. in the foreground. I am anxious to see how the kids do with this!!


  1. Oooh! I love this collage Christie. I'm definitely going to have to try this. Since we live at the beach too, my parents would realy treasure a beautiful sailboat and surf piece.

  2. And thank you, Mary, for the original idea!!!

  3. The magazine sails really add a pop of color. Love the white splash of white paint, too.

  4. Lovely lesson- will definitely try it out!

  5. A wonderful lesson! Looks fantastic!