Randy Menninghaus has sent in a lesson plan for large
playing card design. She has used this with grade 9
through 12 (lesson can be adapted for middle
school....and even elementary).
What a Card
this unit can introduce basic design concepts , or
introduce color concepts. I have used in it a multiple
Materials needed: an assortment of decks of cards.
Look for the broken decks at home or in attics, yard
sales. Try to get an assortment of court
cards or J Q K and Jokers. , Paper( 11 x 16, media
Give a little history of cards....find some
Renaissance card images. Do a PowerPoint slide show of
royal fashion through time.
Explain to the students that the problem is to
create/design a new series of cards, making one sample
that is a court card. Stress that they can
be creative but must keep the feeling or style of
playing cards. The card needs a theme, for example a
myth or legend. It must be two sided/ two headed.
Some years I emphasize surface pattern and detail.
Some years depending on the skill of the students an
appropriate back ground
Another choice was "Turn your self into a card, which
one( J Q K Joker) will you be? What age will you be?
What will you wear? What time in history will you be?
media choices: I have really had success with bridging
drawing to painting using this problem. I introduce
colored pencils and they already have
some color theory. I show them gradations, burnishing,
layering, various textures.
Technical stuff: If a student wishes an identical
head, I demonstrate how to use tracing paper to trace
and flip or flip flop to make the head
apose each other.
Creativity inventiveness 4 3 2 1 0
following all the instructions 4 3 2 1 0
Use of control of the medium 4 3 2 1 0
Use of class time clean up 4 3 2 1 0
Citizenship 4 3 2 1 0
Adaptation for middle school: Fold 12" x 18" newsprint
in half. Draw portrait and costume on top half
(costume can be varied for bottom half). Do Court
portrait as a reduction lino cut print (5" x 7").
Student would use two prints for card. For costume
design use wrapping paper and wall paper (and
assortted papers). Mount on coordinating wallpaper
background. Mount on larger poster board and add
letters and symbols in corner.
Adaptation for elementary: do scratch foam print of
portrait on 9" x 12" (horizontally). Print with light
colored ink on black paper (add white to inks). Cut
out two prints and mount chest to chest on 12 x 18
construction paper. Add some collage elements to tie
the two portraits together. Embellish with metallic
paint markers. Color the costume with colored pencils.
Mount onto larger paper and add letters and symbols in
This lesson will be added to IAD when after Randy send