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Versatile Veined Prints

Create an aluminum foil printing plate then design a collage with your printed papers.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Students find out what prints are, and how they differ from original art. Why do artists produce prints? What materials can be used as printing plates? List uses of prints in everyday life (newspapers, wallpaper, fabric, books, posters, photographs). Ask students to imagine what life would be like if the printmaking process had not yet been invented.
    2. To make printed papers, select a regular sheet of white drawing paper. With Crayola® Scissors, cut a piece of aluminum foil about a finger's length larger than the paper all the way around. Crumple the foil, then open and flatten it, leaving wrinkles on the surface.
    3. Cover a flat work surface with recycled newspaper. With Crayola Tempera Paint and paintbrushes, paint and mix colors on the surface of the foil.
    4. Dip the drawing paper into water, or wet it with a clean brush. Lay the damp paper on the painted foil. Roll a rubber brayer or foam roller over the paper. Pull the print away from the foil to see the "veins" produced by the wrinkles. Repeat the process. Lay wet paper flat to dry.
    5. Select a project in which to use the printed papers, such as these: Alternate prints with solid-colored paper to make a patchwork quilt design. Use prints as backgrounds for topographic maps, fantasy or outer space scenes, or dioramas. Add figures and details with tempera paints and Crayola Markers. Cut or tear paper shapes suggested by the printing texture (vegetation, coral, rocks). With Crayola School Glue, attach these to a background for a collage.
    6. To make a mat for a photo with the printing plate, wipe the painted aluminum foil with a damp paper towel to reveal shiny surfaces on the high ridges. Dry on a flat surface.
    7. Choose a favorite photograph. Cut a rectangle that is 3 or 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) larger than the photo from a recycled cereal box or other cardboard. Choose a standard frame size, such as 8 by 10 inches if a frame is available.
    8. Spread Crayola School Glue evenly on the cardboard. Place the unpainted back of the foil on the glued surface and smooth. Turn the cardboard over. Smooth down the foil edges and glue. Trim away any ragged edges and excess foil on the corners.
    9. Spread glue evenly on the back of the photo. Press it in the center of the painted foil. Prevent warping by placing a heavy book on top of the picture and frame until the glue dries. Glue a paper clip to the back for hanging.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.

    MATH: Draw, construct and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them.

    VA: Select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Compare multiple purposes for creating works of art.

  • Adaptations

    Students explore the history of printmaking. Who devised this technique? When was it invented? Trace the development of printing from its invention to current technology.

    Invite a community member who works in the printmaking industry to visit with the class and share his expertise. Prior to the visit, students write questions focused on the topic. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.

    Organize a field trip to a local industry that makes prints and/or paper. Students compare and contrast how the industrial equipment works with the hand-made process.

    Encourage students to take original photographs for this project. Focus on a curricular connection, such as healthy foods, leaf structure, transportation systems, etc.


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