REMEMBRANCE DAY – Mixed Media, Contrast, Rhythm

Students use tempera paint and construction paper to make a mixed media collage for Remembrance Day.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 8


Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


contrast mixed media movement rhythm symbol


Crayola Washable No-Run School Glue Crayola Washable Glue Sticks Crayola Variety Brush Set - 5 Count Crayola Project Paint Crayola Construction Paper - Red & Black Green Masking Tape Plastic Placemats - 1 per student Water Containers Plastic Container Lids for Palettes - 1 per student Paper Towels Recycles Newspapers

Shop Crayola Products


REMEMBRANCE DAY – Mixed Media, Contrast, Rhythm - Step One

Step One

  1. Select a section of the newspaper to use.
  2. Cut out a piece 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12").
  3. Tape it to a plastic placemat.
  4. Mix blue and yellow together to get a light green colour.
  5. Add lots of water to a small amount of the colour.
  6. Paint a thin wash of colour over the newspaper.
  7. Set it aside to dry.
REMEMBRANCE DAY – Mixed Media, Contrast, Rhythm - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Tear small pieces of paper to make poppies.
REMEMBRANCE DAY – Mixed Media, Contrast, Rhythm - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use a glue stick to glue each poppy together.
REMEMBRANCE DAY – Mixed Media, Contrast, Rhythm - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Mix a variety of shades of green tempera paint.
  2. Do not add water to the mixtures.
  3. Paint lots of lines across the paper to add texture and variety.
REMEMBRANCE DAY – Mixed Media, Contrast, Rhythm - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Play with the arrangement of the poppies until you have a composition that you are satisfied with.
    - think of the rule of thirds when placing the poppies
    - pay attention to the negative spaces
    - let the poppies move your eye through the composition
  2. Put a small dab of white glue on the centre of the back of the poppies and attach them to the paper.
  3. Let the unglued edges of the poppies sit out from the paper so they cast a shadow.
REMEMBRANCE DAY – Mixed Media, Contrast, Rhythm - Step Six

Step Six

  1. When you are satisfied with everything gently remove the masking tape.
  2. Mount the collage on a piece of contrasting construction paper and view it with fresh eyes.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • compose a mixed media collage using the rule of thirds;
  • explain the use of cultural symbolism in their work;
  • use contrast and rhythm to create movement;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the works. 


Have students:

  • work together as a class to arrange all the individual works into one large class mural;
  • use the mural as a backdrop for performances they have created about Remembrance Day, for example, reading a poem; describing a current event related to war; interpretive dance about war and peace; and songs/instrumental works.


  1. Download images of poppies from the Internet, for example,
    Cenotaph Mural
    Field of Poppies
  2. Download the Contrast, Repetition, Rhythm, Movement and Colour posters available on this website.
  3. Gather, and make available, books about Remembrance Day, for example, Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion, by Jane Barclay, and Renne Benoit; A Poppy Is to Remember, by Heather Patterson, Ron Lightburn; What Does Peace Feel Like? by Vladimir Radunsky; Remembrance Day, by Molly Aloian; In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae, by Linda Granfield, and Janet Wilson; and A Bear in War, by Stephanie Innes, Harry Endrulat, and Brian Deines.
  4. Review Remembrance Day information available at the Canadian War Museum.
  5. Preview the John McCrea Heritage Minute at the Historica Canada website.
  6. Preview the information about John McCrea at The Soldier Behind In Flanders Fields.
  7. Gather background information about John McCrae available on the Canadian Encyclopedia website.
  8. Review, or introduce the Rule of Thirds using the lesson plan available on this website.
  9. Gather old newspapers.


  1. View and discuss the John McCrae Heritage Minute.
  2. Discuss the use of symbolism to convey cultural meanings.
    - cultural symbols represent something that people in that country feel are important about the country, or part of the country
    - poppies are the symbol used for remembering the sacrifice and service of soldiers in Canada, USA, Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries 
    - each country has a specific design for the symbolic poppy
  3. View and discuss some poppy images, paying attention to the placement of shapes and use of contrast to create rhythm and a sense of movement. Look for the use of the rule of thirds in the composition of the images.
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Compose a mixed media collage using the rule of thirds.
  2. Explain the use of cultural symbolism in your work.
  3. Use contrast and rhythm to create movement.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works. 

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used the elements of design effectively to communicate a message
    - made the visual message clear and easy to understand
    - used cutout letters effectively 
    - used contrast and rhythm to create movement
    - used the rule of thirds accurately  
    - explained the reasons for my design choices
    - explained the cultural symbolism in my composition
    - kept the paper is 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.


  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to: 
    - share their work and discuss the things that are especially effective in the design and why;
    - talk about what they found satisfying about making this collage and why.
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask students to tell how they felt about doing this project.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their collages – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the composition, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – RemembranceDay_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – RemembranceDay_self-assessment.pdf)