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Animal Collages and Rubbings: Family Workshop


Grade Level



Collage, Printing

Big Idea/Theme

How can families create artwork together?

Essential Questions

What is a collage? What is a rubbing?

  • Teaching Guide
  • Teaching Tools

Materials and Tools


  • Sample collage 
  • Scissors 
  • Glue sticks



  • Families will explore techniques for making a collage, including cutting, arranging, and gluing. 
  • Families will explore techniques for making a rubbing, including varying pressure and experimenting with color and texture combinations. 
  • Families will understand that they can use any found or household objects to make a rubbing. 
  • Families will be able to use collage and rubbing in combination to create an artwork.


Collage of Animal

Introduction/Overview (5 minutes)

What is a collage?  

A collage is a kind of art made with cut paper and glue.

Engagement/Demonstration (5 minutes)

How can we make a collage of an imaginary animal? We can combine features from different animals. Look at reference images of animals for inspiration. 

What are some features we can combine? What shapes are those features? 

Demonstrate or try collage basics: 

  • “drawing” with scissors  
  • cutting large and small shapes 
  • trimming shapes 
  • overlapping shapes 
  • arranging shapes before gluing 
  • gluing large shapes first, then small, then details 

You can: 

  • make an animal of your own 
  • work together as a family to make a collage with multiple animals on one background paper 
  • tear paper instead of cutting to make shapes

Work Time (40 minutes)

  • Brainstorm an imaginary animal before cutting.  
  • Use techniques to cut and glue imaginary animals onto background paper.

Clean up and Reflection (10 minutes)

  • Clean up paper scraps. 

Reflection questions: 

  • Can anyone find two collages that look very different? 
  • What did the artists do differently? What did they do that is the same?  
  • Do you see where someone used a technique that we learned?   
  • Can you describe your imaginary animal?


Introduction/Overview (5 minutes)

What is a rubbing? 

A rubbing is a kind of print that shows the texture of a surface. A rubbing is created by placing a piece of paper, or similar material, over the subject and then rubbing the paper with a pencil or drawing tool.  

Engagement/Demonstration (5 minutes)

Rubbing basics: 

  • place paper on top of textured surface 
  • steady paper with one hand 
  • draw with the side of crayon or oil pastel, moving back and forth across paper 


  • vary pressure  
  • try two color tones 
  • try two textures on the same paper 
  • rub in specific shapes to create a composition 
  • make a rubbing of a collage

Work Time (40 min)

Explore making rubbings and trying extensions below.


  • Cut up your rubbing paper to create a collage. 
  • Make a rubbing of the collage you created.

Clean up and Reflection (10 minutes)

Reflection questions: 

  • What was surprising about making a rubbing? 
  • Which textured object made your favorite rubbing? What do you like about that rubbing? 
  • What are some things you have at home that you can make rubbings of? 


Rubbing Craft by Cecily Barth Firestein


Collage and Rubbing Family Workshop

Written by Mikhaila Quezada and Brett Murphy, Artist Instructors

Studio in a School NYC Team
Andrea Burgay, Associate Director
Julie Applebaum, Senior Director
Hasna Muhammad, Ed.D., Chair, Board of Directors, Studio in a School Association
Alison Scott-Williams, President, Studio in a School NYC

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