MINI STORY SQUARES – Contrast, Texture, Storytelling

Students use acrylic paint to create textured papers and use them to collage 6 small squares that represent characters or settings to be used for telling stories. 

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 8

Subject

Language Arts
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

character collage contrast setting texture

Materials

Acrylic Paint Glue Sticks Paint Brushes Construction Paper Scissors Bristol Board - 5 cm x 5 cm (2" x 2") - 6 per student Water Containers Paper Towels Old Magazines

Steps

MINI STORY SQUARES – Contrast, Texture, Storytelling - Step One

Step One

  1. Choose 3 magazine pages with colours you like.
  2. Paint over the pages with acrylic paint.
  3. Let some of the paper show through the paint.
  4. Scratch into the paint to create different patterns and textures.
  5. Set the papers aside to dry.
MINI STORY SQUARES – Contrast, Texture, Storytelling - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Choose 3 pieces of coloured construction paper.
  2. Paint over the pages with acrylic paint.
  3. Let some of the paper show through the paint.
  4. Scratch into the paint to create different patterns and textures.
  5. Set the papers aside to dry.
  6. You should have 6 new papers to work with.
MINI STORY SQUARES – Contrast, Texture, Storytelling - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use the painted papers and magazine pictures to make 3 character cards.
  2. Try putting animal heads on human bodies.
  3. Add details that help tell us who the character is and how he/she might act.
  4. Make sure all the papers are glued down smooth and flat.
MINI STORY SQUARES – Contrast, Texture, Storytelling - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Use the painted papers and magazine pictures to make 3 setting cards.
  2. Add details that help tell us where the setting is and what it might be like there.
  3. Make sure all the papers are glued down smooth and flat.
MINI STORY SQUARES – Contrast, Texture, Storytelling - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Place your cards beside each other.
  2. Decide on names for your characters.
  3. Use your cards to create a story that has a:
    - hook at beginning
    - main character who must achieve a goal
    - problem to be solved
    - satisfying solution
  4. Practice telling your story so you can share it with a partner.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create textured papers with acrylic paint;
  • create 6 story cards using collage technique;
  • make up and tell a story using the story cards as props; 
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

Extensions

Have students:

  • work with one or two others to combine their story cards and create a new story;
  • practice telling their stories to each other;
  • organize and participate in a storytelling event;
  • write out their stories in a decorative way and display them along with the story cards;
  • video each other telling their stories.

Prepare

  1. ​Teach/review characteristics of good stories, for example,
    - hook at beginning
    - main character who must achieve a goal
    - a problem to be solved
    - a satisfying solution
  2. Gather and make available a variety of story books, for example, A Year Full of Stories: 52 classic stories from all around the world, by Angela McAllister, and Christopher Corr; The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide, by Chris Colfer; The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day: Press the note to hear Vivaldi's music, by Jessica Courtney-Tickle; Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak; and The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch, and Michael Martchenko.
  3. Download and display the Colour, Texture, and Contrast posters available on this website.
    - review or teach the elements of colour and texture – colour schemes, highlights, shadows
    - review or teach the principle of contrast – extreme differences
  4. Gather a variety of magazines - National Geographic are especially good for this activity.
  5. Cut a variety of colours construction paper into half sheets - 15.2 cm x 22.9 cm (6" x 9").

Introduction

  1. Read a short story to students without showing any pictures and ask them to imagine what the characters look like as you read. 
  2. Share impressions of the characters.
  3. Discuss how details help bring the story to life.
  4. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Create 6 textured papers with acrylic paint.
  2. Create 6 story cards using collage technique.
  3. Make up and tell a story using the story cards as props. 
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have created:
    - 6 different painted papers
    - a variety of textures
    - 3 different character cards
    - 3 different setting cards
    - details that show what the character might be like
    - details that show what the setting might feel like
    - 6 cards that are in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Place students into small groups.
  2. Ask them to: 
    - share their stories and cards and discuss the things that are especially effective and why
    - talk about what they found satisfying about doing this project
    - talk about how they might use what they learned in a different way
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask students to tell how they felt about doing this project.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss the collages – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – MiniStoryCards_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – MiniStoryCards_self-assessment.pdf)