Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

Second grade: Printed Note Cards

Posted on: April 27, 2010

Creative Reuse Lesson Plan    Second grade: Letter Writing

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

Printed note cards

Cost per student: $.20 (brayers can be used forever, though)

Materials: Brayers, foam trays, ballpoint pens, pencils, scratch paper, paper or cardstock to print onto, plastic lids or trays, acrylic paint or printing ink (like Speedball), newspapers, clean wet cloths.

Students will design an image and make multiple prints using traditional block printing techniques.

Elements of art: Line, texture, value

Vocabulary: printing, brayer

1. Discuss the concept of printing in art – it is a way to make one or more copies of a drawing, design, etc. Show examples from an art book and discuss ways students may have made a print – with stamps, simply by layering paint and rubbing another paper across it, making a computer design and being able to print multiple copies, etc.

2. Explain that they are going to make a set of note cards using the same design. I handed out ½ sheets of used-on-one-side copy paper and had them sketch a design that they thought would make a cheerful note card. We talked about drawing big, not adding too many crammed details, and not coloring in anything solidly – add texture or implied darkness by crosshatching, stippling, etc. When students had satisfactory drawings, we got out the pieces of Styrofoam trays.

3. I cut clean Styrofoam trays in half, to avoid kids having the company mark in the middle of their design (and make the trays go farther). I cut off the curved edges so they had flat pieces with a textured side and a smooth side. On the smooth side, I showed them how to use a ballpoint pen to created indented lines for their design. They can just draw right onto the Styrofoam, taking care not to push too hard or they’ll put holes in it. It’s tricky to push hard enough to create deep channels that won’t fill up easily with ink, some kids might need to go back over their design before printing.

4.Have the kids fold 3 sheets of  paper in half to serve as their note cards (cardstock would be nice) and write their names on them now so they won’t need too once they get involved with paint.

I covered a few tables with newspaper, and laid out trays (small Rubbermaid lids someone was going to throw out). I put a small amount of acrylic paint on each tray; putting 2 complementary colors side by side gives a neat effect when partially blended. Show the students how to gently roll the brayer across the tray, inking the brayer thoroughly. Then lay the Styrofoam printing plate flat on the table, and ink it with the brayer.

5. Make sure the folded note card is nearby on the table, and lay the inked side of the Styrofoam tray onto the blank card. Give a gentle rub and pull it back. Re-ink and repeat until all note cards are printed. Put the note cards and printing plate out to dry! You may need to blot or rinse the printing plate if you are drastically switching colors; I didn’t worry about it and just let the kids ink new colors and the results were pretty cool.

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