Modern Mosaics

Modern Mosaics lesson plan

Since ancient times, artists have used many different types of tesserae (small pieces) to create beautiful mosaic art. Combine new technology with geometric skills to create beautiful mosaics!

  • 1.

    As long as 4,000 years ago, people incorporated many small pieces of terracotta stones and pebbles into soft surfaces of clay and dirt to create beautiful patterns and pictures on surfaces. Many artists today still use this basic method to create mosaic art. Suggest that students investigate mosaic art and the artists world-wide that are known for their mosaic art pieces. Provide text resources and teacher-approved Internet web sites for students to view during this research.

  • 2.

    With research complete, ask students to choose a subjects with an interesting designs for their artwork. Students sketch their choices on paper with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils.

  • 3.

    Lay this paper on top of the black side of Crayola Color Explosion paper. Trace over lines with a pencil. Press hard enough for a slight impression to be made on the surface of the Color Explosion paper.

  • 4.

    Trace the outline on Color Explosion paper with the Color Explosion marker. Choose basic geometric shapes to fill the design. Draw these shapes inside one section of the outline, leaving black space between the shapes. Repeat, maybe changing shapes in each part of the picture, until the outline is filled.

  • 5.

    Students decide if and how they would like to add extra interest inside the shapes just created. Suggest patterns of dots, lines, or swirls. The explosions of color from the paper make these designs even more interesting!

  • 6.

    If extra space around the outline are available, use more geometric shapes to create a background for the picture!

  • 7.

    In small groups, have students share their mosaic artwork and how learning about this art form was incorporated into their original work.

Standards

  • LA: With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • LA: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
  • MATH: Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces.5 Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.
  • SCI: Use observations and information to classify living things as plants or animals based on what they need to survive.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resource includes: Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda
  • Integrate the mosaic art lesson into a unit of study on reptiles, architecture, history, animals, or natural resources. Students create the visual to enhance a presentation on a selected topic within the unit of study.
  • Encourage students to create a 3-D version of their drawings also using the traditional mosaic medium.
  • Students create a natural habitat for their mosaic animals. This can be done in a 2-D or 3-D mode.