We got messy last week! 

It was  a very busy day and we did not have much time to squeeze in our art lesson. A 'torn paper' artwork was perfect! 

If you attempt one of these, be prepared for the potential for tears. I have found that students of this generation do not have great paper skills - especially tearing. You will need to demonstrate very clearly how to tear paper. 

They will most likely grab the two corners of a piece of paper, fingers as far away as possible from each  other, and try to tear a shape. They need to bring their fingers closer together to tear with control. Show them, and reinforce that we tear slowly and keep stopping to check the progress of the overall shape before tearing another small section. 

It takes practise. Lots of it. 

This was my students first attempt, some students told me they had never been allowed to tear paper ever before.  My students really struggled with confidence. I had to give them quite a bit of verbal encouragement, praise, scaffolding and support to get through this lesson. At the end, they were thrilled and excited and really appreciated what they had made.

To tie into my class' work on 'informative writing' we made a penguin. We had read and investigated a penguin themed big book for our morning literacy work. 

After we got started, I could sense my students were struggling - the "I can't do this" started and a few looked on the brink of tears. They really wanted me to give them a shape to cut out!

I held up a few shapes that had been torn and showed the class how wonderful they were. Some were squares and rectangles, when they were supposed to be ovals, but it did not matter. I told them they were great and that I thought they were perfect for our artworks. 

Gradually the students got more and more confidence until we were in the midst of quite the paper-tearing party!

I had not planned on doing snowflakes for the background, but several students added this on their own. They turned out so well! 

You can find my program lesson notes HERE if you would like to try this lesson! 

Here are some penguin writing pieces we did earlier in the day, after our informative collaborative reading session. I just quickly drew this up at recess for my students. 

This is one that I made for you when I got home, if you would like to use this idea. 

Find it as a pdf in Google Drive HERE

Thanks so much for visiting my blog - have a great week!

- Mel 

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