Lesson #4: Adding Details: The third linked lesson

Part of the unit: Discoveries in Collage |


Why should we add details to our collages?
Students will be able to:
Add details to create areas of interest
Discuss artwork
Students will understand that:
Artists make aesthetic decisions

Variety of colored papers: fadeless construction, glossy and matte, rough and smooth; scissors; glue/brush


An Eric Carle collage illustration, such as The Very Lonely Firefly.


Review prior learning. Invite students to share how they have constructed their collages. Prompt with questions that address:

  • Attention to the compositional plane
  • Use of a variety shapes; combining  shapes
  • Selection of different colored papers
  • Use of papers with different surface qualities

Refer to the Eric Carle collage. Ask students to identify details.
  • Why did the artist include these details?  How did he apply these details? (layering)

Explain that students will be finishing their collages, and will want to add a few details to:

  • create areas of special interest in an art work
  • highlight  the unique qualities of a person

 Give youngsters time to look carefully at their work to determine what they might add.
  • Where in your collage will you add details? What kinds of details? Why?
Invite students to add three details to the collage that will tell us more about the figure. When students have completed their work, select 2 or 3 to discuss their collages:
  • Show us the details you added
  • Tell us why you added the details
Display all student work; invite the class to view the collages. To facilitate a class discussion, elicit questions students might like to pose to each other. For example:
  • Why did you select these colors?
  • What details did you add? Why?

Recruit a volunteer to direct a question to a classmate. Repeat so that several students have the opportunity to pose and respond to questions.


In preparation for a class display, ask youngsters to think of a title for their collages. Arrange time with the classroom teacher for students to gather information for the signage that will accompany their work. Give students a worksheet that asks them to address these items: Student name Title of artwork Materials A sentence or two about making the collage


Art making: Students build upon experiences to express a personal vision; gain knowledge of media Literacy: Students describe the compositional elements in their art work; problem-solve; write about their art work