Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Creating collograph prints with my 3rd graders is one of my favorite projects. It is one of those projects that is highly successful and the kids have some much fun printing!!

Students begin by making a collage.
I give them a rectangle shaped piece of thicker poster board or cardboard - not too thick or it will be too hard for the students to cut. They create their own background  to work on by cutting close to the edges making their own unique shape.

Students are then given smaller squares/rectangles of poster board to cut out various shapes. I encourage them to cut a variety of shapes in different sizes. Spiral shapes look so cool when printed!  They are also encouraged to overlap their shapes. These things will make their compositions more interesting.

After their collages are finished, now comes the fun part- printing!!

To make things go smoothly, each table has one color ink and the students pick the color and stay at that table for the printing process. A second color is later added to the first color to make a second print. For example, if the table has blue ink to use for the first print they can choose to add white for a lite blue print or they could add yellow to make a green print.

Each table is set up with an inking area one one side. The students roll the brayer, which is a roller, in the ink and then roll it over their collage making sure to cover the entire collage with printing ink.

Students then move to the other side of the table with their inked collage which is the printing side. Students lay their collage on a piece of construction paper and must rub really hard all over to make the ink transfer to the construction paper. They quickly learn the term friction while doing this! Some rub so hard their hands get hot!

Students take a quick peek at their work before they pull of the construction paper to make sure that the ink did transfer.

Each student pulls a few prints and chooses the best one. They cut out the best one and glue it to a piece of construction paper  of their choice. Lastly, they add line designs with construction paper crayons, which add a nice touch!

The students did a fabulous job & they looks so cool!!!


  1. Very nice results! I like how you have them cut their printing plate into a neat design. I hope to try this soon.

  2. Thanks Kristyn! The kids loved doing this project!! & they got to get really messy too!