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Mix-It-Up Sponge Painting

Sponges are great tools to mix colors, make sponge prints, and clean up art projects. Squeeze a sponge today!

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Ask students if they have ever played a game where they needed to think up many different ways to use an everyday item. Provide students with a sponge and challenge them to think of various ways to use the sponge other than to clean up spills. Write students ideas on a classroom white board using Crayola® Dry Erase Markers.
    2. Working in small groups, ask students to combine the sponge with Crayola Tempera paint. Challenge each group to come up with many ideas of how these two items can be used together in or outside of an art activity. Student groups keep a list of proposed uses.
    3. Once the conversations appears to be exhausted, tell students it is time to put their creative ideas into action. After covering their work space with recycled newspaper, students take the paint and mix colors on recycled foam produce trays palettes. Experiment with different colors and techniques. Students are challenged to find many different colors, shapes, lines, and forms they can create. These are the basic elements of all art, and can be achieved with a sponge!
    4. Once students have completed their painting, provide time for them to clean up their work areas. Allow overnight for paint to dry.
    5. Students present their artwork to their small group of peers.
  • Standards

    LA:Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    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.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Working as a class, students begin a sponge painting print on a large sheet of paper. The first student prints one art element. Pass the paper to a second student to add an additional element. Continue passing the paper until each student has had the opportunity to contribute to the painting. Students step back and view the completed piece. What do they see?

    Invite a professional artist to speak with the class about sponge painting. Have them describe the qualities that sponges lend to their art. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.

    Students investigate how natural sponges live and are harvested. How are sponges manufactured? What are the similarities and differences between the two types of sponges? What advantages does each have for artists?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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