Monday, February 10, 2014

Craft Three Age Appropriate Clover Mosaics for St. Patrick's Day

A Shamrock Mosaic Simple Enough for Children 3, 4 and 5 Years Old to Craft
A dried green pea mosaic craft easy enough for very young children to craft!
Supply List:
  • dried green peas
  • uncooked rice brown or white
  • white paper plates
  • white school glue
  • stencil
  1. Teachers need to prepare the paper plates in advance. Draw and cut a shamrock stencil for this assignment. Cut it twice, once from scratch paper. Trace it onto the paper plate and cut out the second stencil. This second stencil will be easier to trace around quickly because it will include the contours of the paper plate. Now trace around it for however many paper plates you need in the classroom; one per student. Make sure you use a either a permanent ink marker or a pencil to do this so that the white glue will not cause the shamrock tracing to smear during the glueing process.
  2. Pour out an ample supply of dried green peas into a shallow tray for the little ones to pick from during the project. 
  3. Emphasize to them the importance in filling up their shamrock entirely with the green peas and white school glue. Have a sample their to show them how their completed shamrock should look. 
  4. On the second day, students may repeat the same process of gluing with white or brown rice, filling in the outside space surrounding the shamrock.
  5. This is a good opportunity for teachers to discuss positive and negative space concepts with their young students.
  6. Students may then paste a boarder of green peas around the ridge of the paper plate on the third day. By this time they should be less intimidated by the pasting process.
Simple Clover Mosaic Craft for First, Second, and Third Graders
This clover mosaic is a bit more complex; it is assembled using torn and shredded shapes of paper.
Above photos show parts of the St. Patrick's Day craft up close.
A photo of my intermediate level paper mosaic for 1rst -3rd grade.

Supply List:
  • brown, black, white, and several varieties of green construction paper
  • white glue
  • shamrock stencil (optional)
  • white lead pencils
  1. Teachers should draw a simple clover on a chalk board or a white board demonstrating to his or her students what the parts of clover are.
  2. Give each students a large black sheet of construction paper and a white pencil or a white crayon to draw a similar clover leaf pattern onto their paper.
  3. Students may then tear the green papers and glue these pieces inside their clover leaf drawings. This part of the project may be further complicated if the teacher chooses to do so by using hand painted green papers to craft the purple clover leafs as I have done in the sample shown. Often times teachers choose to do this so that the assignment may be used to stretch over several days and including more processes in order to teach a combination of skills under the same assignment. If you want the assignment to be less complex, simply exclude this part of it and use plain green construction paper. However, do include a variety of greens so that the students may alternate the shades and craft an interesting abstract pattern.
  4. After completing the clover, students may then select background colors consisting of at the very least, two colors of construction paper. I used black and brown for my teacher's example. But students may wish to choose more vibrant colors than these.
  5. Next paste shredded lavender papers on top of each other to create delicate looking purple clover. I used a dark purple, and lighter purple and a white colored paper for this part of the assignment. Purple clover is very common to the State of Missouri where I live and so it is a natural selection of color for me to make for this mosaic. However, I could have chosen to use shades of grey for white clover blossoms if I had preferred them.
  6. After the pictures dry, teachers may then choose to have students cover their mosaics with Modge Podge in order to better preserve their work.
A Fun Recyclable Clover Mosaic for Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Graders
    Upper Left, The shredded purple papers for the purple clover flower buds. Lower Left,
    The hand cut shredded painted papers for the clover's foliage. Right, The layered shredded
    newsprint and shredded color paper mix for the first layer of the paper mosaic.

    The finished purple clover, paper mosaic for St. Patrick's Day. This paper mosaic is complex enough
    to hold the interests of fourth through sixth graders. It may also be challenging to students in middle school.
    Close up camera shots of the purple clover mosaic.

    Supply List:
    • newsprint
    • magazines
    • printed green papers
    • scissors
    • white glue
    1. This project provides the perfect opportunity to introduce your students to the concept of recycling discarded papers on order to create works of art. 
    2. The first layer of this St. Patrick's Day craft are made with shredded old newspapers and tossed construction paper scraps that have been cut into smaller pieces. 
    3. I have included detailed photos here of how paper may be shredded by hand to craft very detailed complex art work. Encourage your students to spend time doing this scissor work over several days. Give them zip lock plastic bags to keep their shredded paper in. 
    4. Students will need to cut green hearts in advance for clover leaves and shred tiny pieces of lavender paper to paste in lumps for the purple clover.
    5. As you may have guessed, they will need an ample supply of white glue or wheat paste if you prefer to mix this prior to their pasting together the layers. 
    6. The project is designed to take place over a few days of drying time between layers. However it is possible to do an entire mosaic over two hours with very little trouble. How much trouble will dependent  upon the student's age and dexterity, and also upon the size of the initial paper given for the "field" of clover. If you are concerned about time constraints, use 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch paper for the background. I choose to use large sheets of newsprint for my paper mosaic project.
    7. I also cut my clover leaves and green stems from painted papers in order to complicate the assignment for older students. They will need an extra day for painting papers with brayers and combs.
    8. Teachers may also use a paper shredder in order to speed up the art assignment for impatient participants. However, I applaud those students who are willing to develop the tenacity involved in manipulating their paper mosaics over several class periods. Certainly this should be encouraged with those students who are home schooled and have the opportunity to develop artwork over several days without time constraints.
    9. After the artwork has been completed, teachers may choose to have their students brush on a top layer of Modge Podge in order to preserve their creations from damage. This will definitely need to be done if these pictures are to be displayed in the school's hallways.
    Plant Long Held "Sacred"
    Clover, of Which the Shamrock is a Species, Was Much Thought Of by the Ancient Greeks

          It is difficult to say what was the original shamrock, trefoil or Hero Trinity. The leaf now recognized as the national emblem is that of the white clover, but the name shamrock is the generic and is applied also to the purple clover, the speedwell, the pimpernel and to the wood sorrel.
          The clover of two or four leaves was held sacred in the festivals of the Greeks. The one of four leaves, when carried about, is supposed to insure success at play and confer the power of detecting evil spirits. The lover may put it under his pillow and he will dream of his beloved, or the maiden may slip it into her sweetheart's show without his knowledge and it will insure his safe return from any journey. It may be employed to prevent the wearer's being drawn into military service, is said to be a cure for lunacy, and is still, among the Irish, regarded as magical, even sacred. Snakes dislike it exceedingly and will not remain where it is growing.
          Some say that four-leaf shamrock is the shamrock of luck, and others that it is the five-leaved one that holds the magic touch. This latter is rare and prized and is said to grown from a decaying body, as the nettle is said to spring from buried human remains. The shamrock of luck must be found "without searching, without seeking." When thus discovered it should be cherished and preserved as an invincible talisman. The Semi-Weekly Tribune, North Platte, Nebraska, 1918

    More Shamrock Crafts Just For Fun:

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