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Dark and Light Collage


In this activity, you will explore making a collage with light and dark paper.

Grade Level

Pre-K, Kindergarten



  • Video
  • Slide Deck
  • Teaching Guide


  • Black paper
  • White paper
  • Glue in a cup
  • A craft stick


Today we’re going to make a collage! What is a collage? 

Collage is a kind of art made by arranging and gluing paper or other materials.

Look at the two papers you have today. Which paper is darker? Which paper is lighter?

Choose one of the papers to make shapes with. Save the other paper to arrange your shapes on later. 

How can you use your hands to change the paper to make different shapes? You can tear the paper!

Put your hands next to each other on one side of the paper and pull one hand towards you and the other away.

What kind of shape did you make?
How can you make a different shape?

You can tear the corners off your paper. This makes little triangles.

You can also make a curved shape. Start to tear slowly, just a tiny bit at a time and turn the paper while you tear. If it’s not quite round, you can tear it some more. 

What other shapes can you make?

Let’s try one more kind of shape. How can you make a shape that has a zigzag or bumpy edge? This is a freeform shape.

Freeform shapes are shapes that are irregular, like the shapes of plants or clouds, or other things that we might find in nature. 

What other freeform shapes can you make?

Now, you’re ready to arrange our shapes. Take out your other paper for your background. 

Will you put your shapes on the top or bottom of your background paper? Will you put them close together or spread them out?

Now that you’ve arranged your shapes, it’s time to glue them down.

Pick up one shape. Then:

1.Dip your stick in the glue.

2.Wipe the drip on the edge of the cup.

3.Spread the glue around the edges of your shape.

4.Press the shape down with your hand.

Glue each piece of your collage.


What paper did you choose to tear? 

What shapes did you make? 

How did you arrange your shapes?


Dark and Light Collage
Written by Andrea Burgay, Associate Director

Lesson Development
Julie Applebaum, Senior Director
Sassy Kohlmeyer, Director of Early Childhood Programs

Studio in a School NYC
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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