Saturday, September 6, 2014

1st Grade Desert Sunset Collages

Artwork by Ian M.

First graders created these colorful collages after studying photographs of desert sunsets, paying special attention to the horizontal lines of the clouds, the vertical shapes of cacti, and the color palette of the skies.  We even spent some time learning about the fascinating saguaro cacti featured in the photos and collages.

Artwork by Emily K.

Artwork by Emma G.

Artwork by Garrett J.


  1. Hello,Could you mention the steps to having the students make these? Do the students rip the paper, or do you do this before hand? Do they use glue sticks or white glue?

  2. Hey Robin, we used 9x12 construction paper in light blue to represent the sky, and warm colored construction and copy paper for the strips of "clouds." I had the kids tear, rather than cut the strips, which saves time and, I think, makes their clouds a little more interesting. It helps to show the kids that a typical sheet of paper usually tears better lengthwise than widthwise. Glue sticks for the glue, not Elmers. For the cacti and ground, I emphasized making them in pieces and glueing them into the desired shape, rather than trying cut out a single intricate shape, which is a bit challenging for typical 1st grade scissor skills. If necessary, the kids could use white colored pencils to draw their shapes prior to cutting on the black construction paper. Hope this helps.