Project Length – 2 x 1 hr
Ages – 5 – 11
This project is a great way to make good use of old newspaper!
The children began by paining some sheets of newspaper in four different colours (orange, brown, blue and green). It is a good idea to encourage them to spread the paint thinly as it will dry much faster and make tidying up a lot easier. It is also nice if the text and pictures can be seen through the paint as it adds to the textural effect.
We put the sheets to one side to dry and started work on the trees. For younger children, I drew an outline of two trees onto black card using chalk. Older children were able to do this themselves. Once the outlines were drawn, they set to work filling in the shapes with small pieces of torn, unpainted, newspaper. I stressed that these pieces needed to be small and fit inside the tree shape. For very young children, it might be helpful to rip up some pieces in advance. The trees were then also left to dry. This took us to the end of the first session.
At the start of the second session, I showed the children how to divide a piece of white card up into roughly four sections. I told them that it didn’t matter if the line was wobbly or the sections uneven as I feel that this makes the finished result even nicer. They then used torn pieces of the coloured paper to fill in each section in a different colour. Again, I made sure I reminded them that big pieces will not look as effective as smaller ones! Some children chose to mix up the colours a bit which also looked very autumnal.
Once they had created the background all that was left to do was to cut out the trees from the previous session and stick them in place. I showed them how to cut out leaving a small black border around the tree as this seemed to make it really stand out from the background. Younger children might need a bit of help here or maybe have the trees cut out for the start of the session.
This project can be extended for older or more able children by asking them to think about perspective and placing smaller trees in the background (see below). Or by asking them to search out ‘bark-like’ textures and colours in the newspaper.