Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

Second Grade: Design a Postage Stamp

Posted on: January 4, 2010

Creative Reuse Lesson Plan         Second grade: Letter writing

Written by Keri Piehl for SCRAP /Whitman ES 2009-10

Design a postage stamp

Cost per student: $.03

Materials: 6”x5” white paper, colored pencils, regular pencils, examples of postage stamps

Optional: I found some paper at Schoolhouse Supplies that is a little larger than the white paper with scalloped edges, I will mount the “stamps” on them since it will be the perfect finishing touch and give the artwork the perforated edge look.

Students will create art suitable for a postage stamp, the purpose of which is to honor a person, commemorate an event, remember a favorite place or item, or put forth an idea.

Elements of art: Line, color, space

Vocabulary: postage, stamp, representation

1. Ask the students to tell what they know about postage stamps.  Depending on their prior knowledge, address concepts such as payment for mail delivery, functional art, and that they have different monetary values. I have a collection of cancelled postage stamps I found in a free pile, but even bringing in a few examples of current postage can help show the range of designs and slight variation in sizes.

2. Talk about how the art on a stamp could represent a place, memorialize an event, call attention to an animal or plant, honor a person etc. Brainstorm some idea of what might make a good subject for stamp art. Hand out the white or very light colored papers and have the students use a pencil to put their names in a corner.

3. Sketch the design lightly, and work on centering the subject of the artwork as well as filling the available space. You might want to draw a quick example of artwork that leaves too much extra space and something that is too crammed full of detail if your students have a hard time planning use of space.

4. Add color with colored pencil after they have firmly decided on a design.

5. Optional: mount on paper with perforated-looking edges to give it a finished look in the spirit of a real postage stamp.

Extension: Use the copy machine to shrink down and repeat the stamp to make it look like a sheet of stamps that students could cut apart and use for “mailing” letters within the school.

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