October 31, 2014

Marbled Paper and Ezra Jack Keats Art Project!

My second graders are starting one of my favorite projects. I think I say that about every project, but I really love this one. We are working on creating marbled paper which we will use for an Ezra Jack Keats inspired collage.

I started making these 'First Snow' projects a few years ago when I really wanted to do marbling with my students. I love marbled paper and the result are beyond beautiful.  And who doesn't love 'ooohhs' and 'aaahhs' and a round of applause when the marbled paper is revealed!
Marbled paper is fairly simple and this method is more cost effective than using shaving cream and food coloring. It is also more similar in how marbling is actually done. I keep my costs down by having 3 to 4 stations and having students rotate through. While a few students are marbling the rest are reading a book by Keats or making their collage person.
What you need:
Sta-Flo Starch (found in art supply catalogs/sites or grocery and big box stores.)
Acrylic Paint
Eye Droppers
Stick (to make swirls, eye dropper tip works too)
Large shallow bin for marbling
Large bin for rinsing
White Paper-the heavier the better, test your paper before the students start. Some papers definitely take paint better than others.

1-Shake up starch and pour starch in large shallow bin.
2-Mix acrylic paint with a bit of water and test its buoyancy. You want the paint to float on the starch, not sink.
3- Put 5-10 dropper-fuls of paint onto the starch. The first batch of marbling may need 10-15. Put drops everywhere, not just the center.
4- Carefully swirl the paint with a stick, end of a brush, or end of the eyedropper.
5-Place paper gently on the starch and gently make sure the edges are touching (without drowning the paper!). I write students' names with sharpie and have the name face up when they do this.
6-Give the paper a minute to soak up the paint.
7-Have student grab two corners of the paper and pick it up. Let the starch drip off.
8- I squeegee the excess starch paint off using cardboard or mat board. One on each side and then have the student's pull the paper up and through the squeegee.
9- Gently rinse in water to remove any excess starch. You can feel the slimy spots where the starch is, just rub those (another reason to use heavier white paper!)
10- Let this lie flat to dry. My drying rack is at a slight angle and makes everything run a little bit, I put a table cloth down and let projects dry on that. About 3-6 students can marble per day.

Ezra Jack Keats Resources:
Brainpopjr.com -(subscription needed, but some videos are free) age appropriate video on who he is and how he makes his work. They also have a collage video that could be viewed.
Wegivebooks.org-(free with sign up) digital books that can be viewed on a smartboard, Keat's books are on rotation (last year they had Snowy day, this year they don't. I may be too early with the project this year)
bookflix.com -(subscription needed-your school may already have this!) A video of the Snowy day being read plus a non-fiction text on snowy days...ELA all the way =)

Do you marble? How do you do it? How do you tackle messy projects?

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