Inspired by a trip I took to Tucson, Arizona last October, we are studying the desert in our classroom right now. In addition to learning about how deserts look different from our landscape here in Iowa, we are learning about desert animals. I came up with a little desert art project that has been out on our art shelf for about a week. I love see how each child's interpretation of this is different.
Below you can see how I've set this up on the shelf: a paper holder holds gray construction paper half sheets and brown newsprint paper cut into 3 inch wide strips. The child takes one of each papers and the green tray to their work space.
The green tray has a vinyl mat, a textured plastic template, a box of crayons and a basket with a glue stick. The first step is to place the brown paper onto the textured template and rub it with a brown crayon. This makes the "sandy" desert ground. Then they tear the textured piece in half to make it look even more realistic.
Before gluing the sandy ground in place, the child uses the various colored crayons to make "sunset stripes" across the gray paper. Then the sandy ground is glued to the bottom. We also have traced cactus to pin-punch and children who have punched out a cactus may add it to their desert scene. Many children are also adding their own artwork which reflects their individual tastes and abilities. So fun!
I tried to get the next photo to post horizontally but Typepad didn't cooperate. This was taken while a child was working on it.
Here is another variation. They have really loved making this project!