I just finished a long day with kindergartners and
firsts... we did many of the things suggested here. We
read "Swimmy", discussed sea creatures and practiced
saying their names (medusa, jellyfish, anemone...), we
swayed in the ocean waves like anemones, we tried
moving as one big fish with our bodies, we made a long
line and moved like an eel -
imagining what it might be like to not be sure of what
your tail was doing; we talked about how the author
might have made so many little fish without painting
each one individually.
We painted the ocean blue-green with big sponges and
tinted starch on our papers. We printed large seaweeds
(styrofoam with cut up doilies stamps) and candy-rocks
(cut up car sponges); we printed sea
stars/anemones/jellyfish creatures with bath netting
sponges, and stamped red fish all over or in shapes or
patterns with eraser-carved fish... and some solid
black eraser-carved fish (Swimmy).
We had probably 15 or 20 minutes left in the hour (not
counting clean-up time).
Some children made smaller ocean pictures using
markers and the stamps, some chose to play with
All this was after I had spent countless hours over
the weekend purchasing sponges and bath netting and
doilies, cutting and gluing, carving 25 erasers for
the stamps (this would be the second set -
the first one I cut out of foam but discovered that
they were too hard to stamp without smearing all over
the place). I still consider myself a beginning
teacher (this is the beginning of my 4th year, and I
This lesson took a lot of time to prepare - but I
think the results show that Deborah's efforts were
well worth it. It is one she can do again and again.
I will eventually write this up as a printmaking
lesson for IAD (Deborah - did you put it on computer
file?). I will try to find a song to go with this
lesson (I have one in my head but can't think of the
Note to Deborah:
Do you mean that styrofoam printed fish didn't work?
I was able to get the styrofoam stamps to work with
regular stamping ink. Still...it would be hard for
Kidergarteners to cut out their own tiny fish. Maybe
experiment next year and see if kids could make just a
square/rectangular stamp with a fish themselves with
styrofoam printing plate scraps. Use double sided foam
tape to secure to small blocks of wood.
Students could experiment with their own stamp them
after they finish the lesson.
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