The first idea I am auditioning for this year is this simple (and quick) lesson that will introduce oil pastels and pinch-tearing all at the same time.
The supplies are simple: 9 X 12 construction paper pre-cut into fourths, some oil pastels, and a piece of background paper on which to glue the shapes. Pentel is one of my preferred brands because the pastels are soft and easy for students to use with good results.
The first step is to "pinch tear some dots". I would have kids practice this first using scratch paper. You can see a lesson on this by clicking here.
I had intended to use just black construction paper, but decided I liked the variety of using lighter colors of paper, too. I also thought about and tested using baby oil and swabs to blend the pastels slightly, but found that that didn't really add value (except, perhaps the lovely clean aroma of the baby oil in a classroom!) to this project. That is one of the advantages of auditioning a lesson first, before using it in the classroom!
The final step is to glue the dots on a background paper (either plain or painted if I want to get a little messier), overlapping edges just slightly.
I am actually thinking about doing this as a collaborative project that will cover a HUGE area, with hundreds of dots!!!