I wish I had more time to do printmaking with students. Many are so timid as they approach the project and would benefit from more time with lots of different kinds of prints. Most of our 3rd graders were here in the school last year when they did gyotaku (Japanese fish prints), so I know they have at least had that experience. This lesson came from Mrs. Crosbie's wonderful blog in Angus, Scotland. (See her lesson here.) If you haven't visited her blog yet, be sure to spend a little time browsing when you link to it!!
Kids started by tracing their hand and cutting it out. They then used that cut-out to trace and cut out another hand in a different color. I used 2 different colors for the hands to avoid confusion. They cut out the sections of one hand and glued those pieces on the other hand. See picture below to see them drying. Some students did better than others at this. Several had a hard time cutting and staying organized as they glued the little pieces even though I cautioned them to cut and glue only one finger at a time. I limited their cutting to thumbs and finger parts only -- I felt the palm lines would have been too confusing for this group.
When the printing plates were dry, on another day, students painted the hands and used them to print on an 8" X 10" board. They had white and 2 colors to choose from for paint. We talked about how to position the hands so the fingers pointed in different directions creating a variety of angles. Several students commented on how the white prints in particular reminded them of bones!!!
You'll notice that I used paintbrushes instead of printing brayers. That was a decision I made in the interest of time. I only have 8 brayers, but I wanted 15-16 kids to print at one time. I had 2 different printing tables set up. We were trying to finish up 2 projects and one day, so the time consideration won out!!
Here are a few of the finished projects:
When I returned the prints to students I gave them their hand plate separately so they could use it at home to try printing some more. However, I think the printing plate would actually look good mounted on the print itself.