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Basic Japanese Notan Design for Grades 1 and Up - great for practicing cutting and gluing!

Basic Japanese Notan Designs for 1st Grade & Up

Are you look­ing for an easy project that will give your youngest stu­dents more prac­tice with scis­sors? This very basic Japan­ese Notan les­son is per­fect for work­ing on cut­ting and glu­ing skills, and kids will love the strik­ing designs they cre­ate! Notan is a type of Japan­ese art that uses the con­trast of light and dark to make an eye-catching com­po­si­tion. (Pro­nounce it just like it […]

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Notan Ornament back

Christmas in July! Japanese Notan-Inspired Ornaments

Even though Christ­mas falls on the same day every year, it still man­ages to sneak up on me! Why is that??! My best inten­tions are always to post some new Christ­mas art projects & ideas a month or two ahead of time, but then the busy­ness of the sea­son just gets the best of me! […]

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Collage 2 w/Positive and Negative Shapes

Basic Collage with Positive and Negative Shapes

I do this project with my first graders every year to help them under­stand the con­cept of pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive shapes.  This project also teaches sym­me­try and offers impor­tant prac­tice in cut­ting on a fold and apply­ing glue.  First graders are often sur­prised by the shapes they see when they unfold their papers — they […]

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Mexican Papel Picado

Papel Pic­ado”, or “cut paper”, is a col­or­ful dec­o­ra­tion found at most Mex­i­can cel­e­bra­tions. The “secret” of suc­cess for mak­ing your own papel pic­ado is to sand­wich the thin tis­sue paper inside a folded, heav­ier weight paper before cut­ting it. This makes it eas­ier to work with, less likely to tear, and gives you a […]

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Cursive Cut-outs

I posted this les­son awhile back as “Name Aliens”, but I’ve since fig­ured out a bet­ter way to teach this, so I improved the direc­tions. As soon as kids can write their names in cur­sive, they’re ready to cre­ate these whim­si­cal crea­tures! To make “bugs”, just add six legs instead of two! (Adapted from the […]

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Recycled Magazine Flowers

Here is another unique project that we used for Mother’s Day cards, but would be fun to do any­time! I saw this fea­tured on the One Pretty Thing site, from Fam­ily Fun. My 5th graders had a blast mak­ing these (even the boys, who usu­ally resist any­thing to do with flow­ers!) and it gave me […]

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Happy Easter — “Stained Glass” Cross

This is a project I do every year with my Kinders for Easter. It requires a bit more prep than usual, but it’s a great way to rein­force the con­cept of sym­me­try.… plus they look beau­ti­ful hang­ing in the win­dows! 1. Fold a piece of 12x18 black con­struc­tion paper in half ver­ti­cally (length­wise).2. Make a […]

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