Symmetrical Butterflies

PicMonkey CollageDisclaimer: I borrowed the bulk of this lesson from one of my art-teacher idols, Cassie Stephens.  She’s simply amazing at what she does- I highly recommend you check her projects out.  I may harbor a lil’ art teacher envy because she’s so cool.  Anyways. 🙂 

This was a REALLY fun project for Kindergarten and I’m thrilled to have woven it into our curriculum this year. First, we talked about butterflies and the importance of celebrating their beautifully short lives.  We talked about symmetry and looked at examples of symmetrical designs in butterfly wings.

We kicked off our projects by folding 8×10 sheets of white construction paper in half (hot-dog-style) like a card. We painted on only ONE HALF of our paper (to the right of the crease) and children followed my lead to create their monoprints. We used water down black paint and painted directly onto our paper. I would make a brushstroke on the right side of my paper and quickly fold it, pressing the pages together. Then I would unfold and instruct children to do the same. basic symmetryWe did this process of painting, folding, pressing, and unfolding for the entire butterfly. They really enjoyed this wild, explorative, and playful process! I encouraged them to work really QUICK, since the paint dries fast. One child accidentally dropped a splatter of paint onto one half of the butterfly and went into a panic. I said, “Oh, you got really lucky! Now quick, fold your paper!” The child was thrilled to see that the “accident” turned into a really neat marking that was now part of their butterfly wing design. therestHere’s a picture of the black and white butterflies from the first day of class. They looked very pretty at this stage and I wasn’t sure if I wanted them to add color.  (Ultimately, I’m glad we did!)12998636_10100480578798211_4387652347569286790_nThe next week, we used chalk pastels to color in our wings. We didn’t use the same “fold and press” technique since the chalk doesn’t transfer as a monoprint, but we DID discuss the importance of keeping the colors symmetrical on both butterfly wings. Here are some progress shots of Kindergarteners hard at work.:)123456879We blended bright colors for the backgrounds. Here is the finished butterfly garden. What do you think? 🙂 bf1bf2bf3group butterflies

I feel like they could make a really cool quilt, don’t you think?

Have an nice week!

-Mrs. Heinlein


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