Bug's Life: The Art of Science

Bug's Life: The Art of Science

In connection with a science study on bug life, the artist helps students make bug murals on large cardboard boxes. Students paint freely to make the background, then are guided in creating a variety of insects using a range of art materials and media. Finally, the insects and flowers are cut out and pasted onto the mural background.

Grade Pre-school
Content Area Science
Key Benchmark Science #1: Increase sensory awareness by exploring and experimenting with various sensory media

Art Form Visual Arts
Art Benchmark Art #1: Children create and express themselves through a variety of art experiences
School Year 2006-2007
Artist Cherokee Shaner
Unit Plan

Lesson Plans

LP1: Paints & Colors

Before the artist comes:Teachers and students look at and discuss a variety of picture books with stories and illustrations showing all kinds of insects--butterflies, caterpillars, ladybugs, ants, beetles, & moths. Then with the artist, students paint freely on refrigerator-size cardboard boxes which have been prepped with one solid color by adults. They talk about colors, ways of using the brush, what happens when colors mix, etc.

LP2: Printmaking

Students use various objects to print on large pieces of construction paper. When dry, they cut shapes to be used for the insect parts—bodies, heads, legs, and wings.

LP3: Putting Parts Together: Assembling the Bugs

One group of students works on assembling insects, using the printed construction paper they made, bubble wrap, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, and plastic “eyes.” Another group paints butterflies on large folded pieces of paper that have been cut into butterfly shapes. After looking at pictures of butterflies and discussing patterns, they paint their designs with tempera paints. The papers are then folded the reverse way and pressed to make a symmetrical butterfly.

LP4: Finishing the Mural

Students work again in two groups. One group paints large flowers to go on the last mural section. The other group puts glue on the finished insects and glues them to the other mural sections.