Cut Paper Circus: Free Lesson Plan Download
Level: PreK-2 Art Education Lesson Plan
Art Elements: Shape
Art Skills: Cutting, Gluing, Care and Use of Materials
Making Connections: Collage, Animals, Problem Solving
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This is one of my favorite lessons of all times! I start by showing students the work of Henri Matisse as an inspiration. His work is bold and bright and his series The Circus (Jazz) from 1943 is a wonderful segue into this lesson. Students are encouraged to build their scene out of shapes without the use of pencils, which is an age-appropriate problem-solving challenge. Some student will need a little further guidance to get the hang of it and some will hit the ground running! I suggest circling the room to check for understanding on Day 1.
Sometimes, on Day 2, I begin by reading a few pages of If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss. His book is filled with exciting language that helps students come up with a thrilling title. As students finish up on Day 2, I buzz around the room and record their circus titles (some of which are hilarious!). It’s the perfect finishing touch to make this lesson extra special.