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Creating Collage


Children create object collage background pages for paintings or original picture collages.
  • Reading Is Fundamental, written by Sue McCleaf Nespeca and Joan Reeve
  • Arts and Crafts
    • 3-5
    • 6-8
    • 9-12
  • Multiple
  • Indoor
  • Play

Materials: Smoky Night, written by Eve Bunting, illustrated by David Diaz Cardboard or foam trays (one per child) Materials for collage, such as beans, seeds, cereal, pieces of different textured fabric, felt pieces, feathers, cotton balls, or pom-poms, various colors of tissue paper, twigs, dried grasses or leaves, etc. White glue

Time Required: 60 minutes

Set Up Cover tables with disposable tablecloths or newspaper. Set out collage materials and glue. Directions Share the story Smoky Night, about the upheaval during a night of rioting in Los Angeles. A young boy and his mother are forced to get along with neighbors they barely knew previously while looking for their lost cats and escaping a fire. First, discuss the serious nature of the book with your children. In the story, tenants who barely knew each other become friends through an unexpected, shared experience. Discuss with your children whether they ever gained a new friend because of unexpected circumstances. The following "reading anticipation guide" may help you with this. Next, review the book and the extensive collage background pages. Each collage background correlates with what is happening on that page. For example, when looters break the windows of a shoe store, Diaz has used the soles and heels of shoes in his backdrop Children can now create their own object collage, either by itself, or as the frame for a picture they paint. (All of Diaz's collage backdrops are accompanied by acrylic paintings.) Allow your children to come up with their own ideas for their collage work. Diaz illustrated several other books with background collages children can explore. You may also want to share books illustrated by Bryan Collier, who uses cut paper and other texture collage in his pictures. (See the bibliography below.) His illustrations for Martins Big Words won a Caldecott Honor Medal. You may also want to... Read another book by Eve Bunting and illustrated by David Diaz, Going Home, which describes Mexican farm laborers returning to their Mexican home to celebrate Christmas. The family discovers that "home is where the heart is-with ones family." Talk about their special family customs and holidays, then explore other families holidays and customs and note differences. (See the Web site below.) Make and display a collage of family celebrations, using photos and mementos attached to a sturdy background. Community Connection Have children explore an area outside their neighborhood, such as a Chinatown or other ethnic area where children may visit the shops and businesses. Ask children to visit a local ethnic store (for example, an Italian or Hispanic grocery store) and explore different foods. If none of the above are available, have children try the international section of their grocery store. Adaptations Diaz won the Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in this book. Talk to the children about the Caldecott Medal for illustration and the criteria involved in the selection of books for this prestigious award. For information, see the Web sites below. Related Resources Web Sites: Information on the Caldecott Medal: Awards_and_Scholarships1/ Literary_and_Related_Awards/Caldecott_Medal/Caldecott_Medal.htm For Caldecott terms and criteria: and_Scholarships1/Literary_and_Related_Awards/Caldecott_Medal/ Caldecott_Terms_and_Criteria1/Caldecott_Terms_and_Criteria.htm Information about the medal and how it came to be: _and_Scholarships1/Literary_and_Related_Awards/Caldecott_Medal /About_the_Caldecott_Medal1/About_the_Caldecott_Medal.htm Information on International holidays: Books: Books with background collage illustrations by David Diaz: Bunting, Eve. Smoky Night. Illustrated by David Diaz. Harcourt, 1994. Bunting, Eve. Going Home. Illustrated by David Diaz. HarperCollins, 1996. Krull, Kathleen. Wilma Unlimited. Illustrated by David Diaz. Harcourt, 1996. Books with collage illustrated by Bryan Collier: Collier, Bryan. Uptown. Henry Holt, 2000. Perdomo, Willie. Visiting Langston. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Henry Holt, 2002. Rappaport, Doreen. Martins Big Words. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Hyperion, 2001. * Some of the above description for this activity is from Picture Books Plus: 100 Extension Activities in Art, Drama, Music, Math, and Science, written by Sue McCleaf Nespeca and Joan B. Reeve. 2003 by the American Library Association.

Creating Collage