Unique Sea Creatures

Term: 3 Year: 2012

ELC4 using paint, mark making, printing, making a unique stencil and sponge printing a unique sea creature

Being, Belonging & Becoming
Early Years Learning Framework Outcomes
Children are Confident and Involved Learners:
4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, confidence, cooperation, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity.
4.3 Children resource their own learning through connection with people, place, technologies, and natural and processed materials.
Children are effective communicators:
5.3. Children express ideas and maker meaning using a range of media.

The activity had three distinct phases:

  1. Creating the printed background or landscape for the fish
  2. Creating a stencil by carefully manipulating and tearing a piece of newspaper.
  3. Using the stencil to sponge print a sea creature using a variety of colours and sponges.

Initially we used a floor tile as a restricted space upon which to paint.  The boys were allowed to select the colours they wanted to cover the tile with using a brush. They were encouraged to completely cover the tile with paint.
Next a variety of mark making tools were made available for the boys to explore. These tools swept, smeared, scratched, swirled, brushed and carved pathways into the paint. The boys were able to repaint the tile and explore the mark making until they wanted to take a print. This allowed time to explore experiment and play with the paint.
A piece of A3 paper was placed on the tile and carefully pressed onto the paint. We discussed the need to be aware of not smudging or twisting the paper so we could take a clear print.
As the paper was pealed back there were gasps of delight to see the painted image transferred onto the paper. The 4 year old boys were keen to replicate this process a few times to watch the transfer of their print to paper.

ELC4 B had recently come back from an excursion to the beach and had been extending their learning experiences around the theme of sea life.
On a previous visit to Zart I had been introduced to the technique of tearing a sheet of newspaper to create a stencil and shared this with the boys. There was a certain amount of trial and error involved as the boys found manipulating the paper without tearing straight through a challenge.
Once the templates were made we placed a sheet of white paper behind the stencil and used a variety of sponges and bright coloured paints to blend and print. The boys used their own techniques of pressing, sweeping, brushing and twisting with their sponges. Each fish took on a unique effect that was revealed once the newspaper stencil was pealed back. When the fish was dry each boy looked at his creation and decided where the best place to put an eye would be.
The fish were then laminated and foam blocks added so they would stand proud of the background seascape.
The process encouraged observation, discussion, decision making and mark making, sharing resources and manipulating small materials. Joining parts of the dragonfly together also provided its own challenges which the boys persevered with and were able to celebrate their achievements.

Claire Clarke
Specialist Teacher ELC
Brighton Grammar Early Learning Centre
Suitable for Early Learning programs