Collage-style Classroom Activity with Julie Flett

Julie Flett is an award-winning Cree-Métis author, illustrator and artist. Her books, which include My Heart Fills With Happiness, Little You, When We Were Alone and more, all feature her signature collages. She plays with color, texture and shape to create beautiful and lyrical illustrations. And your students can, too.

In this classroom activity, students will create their own collages after reflecting on Julie Flett’s illustrations. You can create a prompt for the class—such as asking them to create a collage based on something that fills their hearts with happiness—or leave them to their own imaginations, depending on how much scaffolding your students need.

This activity gives students the opportunity to:

  • Consider a familiar illustrator’s style and learn about the artistic techniques used in favorite picture books.
  • Learn about a Cree-Métis artist.
  • Think about the use of color, shape and texture in their artwork.
  • Use multiple mediums to create a piece of art.
  • Develop fine motor skills by working with scissors.

What you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Scrap materials, such as:
    • Fabric scraps
    • Paint samples
    • Wallpaper scraps
    • Magazines
    • Student artwork
    • Student journal entries

Steps:

  1. Gather some books by Julie Flett or look at samples of her artwork on her portfolio.
  2. Go through some of these books as a class and draw attention to the illustrations, asking your students to reflect on:
    • How is her style similar or different on each page?
    • What shapes or colors do you notice?
    • How do these illustrations make you feel?
  3. Prompt your students to sketch out their own illustrations on paper.
  4. Distribute the scrap materials and have students create collage illustrations over top of their sketches, gluing down the pieces as they go.
  5. When the collage artworks are finished, ask your class to reflect on their pieces:
    • Why did they choose these shapes and colors?
    • Does your picture tell a story?
    • How does your art make you feel?

We hope you enjoy this activity! Feel free to share your students’ creations with us by tagging @orcabook on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see their art!

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