Here's a super fun and simple lesson that I'm using to introduce my 2nd graders to basic stamping/printmaking methods. I had a feeling that robots might be a hit with young artists, but I had no idea how much 2nd graders loved thinking about robots--How do they work?, What can they can do?, Do robots have personalities and if so, what are they like? I found this great lesson over at The Chumley/Scobey Art Room blog which proved to be a great, non-messy, ink-less and brayer-less solution for exposing young learners to the joy of printmaking.
The recent 100th anniversary of the Titanic's tragic demise reminded me about how intrigued I was with the story/photos of the sunken vessel when I was an elementary student. I remembered my library teacher telling my class about "Alvin" the mini, underwater robot that could swim the ocean floor and explore the ship's remains. I recall watching video clips of little Alvin fitting through tiny, portal windows and wandering down the once grand, now rusty and barnacle-covered main staircase. I recall my mind being blown in library class-- simultaneously tickled to know that scientists were so clever as to have made such a useful invention and also so proud of the little guy for being so brave!
First, students brainstormed a few places where robots exist in the real world. Most classes were able to think of some good, non-fiction examples such as car washes, factories, NASA space shuttles, and even Roombas! Next, we made a list of ten adjectives that could be used to describe robots. I asked the students to design the robot of their dreams that would assist them in completing a task from their daily lives.
First, we used black Acrylic paint and recycled materials to "stamp" simple shapes to create a robot. I scoured my art closet for old tools such as old marker caps, paper cup rims, clothes pins, Legos, cardboard, wooden handles, nuts, bolts, etc. The students loved experimenting with making a variety of stamps for their robot's vents, tubes, latches, buttons, and doors. On day two, we used fluorescent paints to add a splash of color to our robots designs.