Monday, September 19, 2011

ATC Trading Cards with Second Graders

This summer I was introduced to ATC (artist trading cards) on the blog of arts educator, Nicole Hahn: mini matisse. She organized an arts educator swap leveraging both Art Education 2.0 and SwapBot. I tried it out and received this amazing card above, Day at the Beach, in the trade from a Canadian arts educator Stewart Charlesbois. It is beautifully crafted. He fused recycled plastics and stitched his card on a sewing machine. It is so stunning. I am going to frame it soon.What a wonderful introduction to the world of ATC cards!

I am now working with a Second Grade class in Cupertino, CA in creating artist trading cards with the theme of Fall. These will be traded in a student swap organized by Ms. Hahn in SwapBot. We will be trading with another elementary school class. So far the other schools in the swap are from Canada, Tennessee, Minnesota and Georgia. The last day to join the swap is September 30th and the last day to send out the cards to the assigned school is October 14th.

I will be sending these two above samples along for the teacher of the class we trade with. The one on the left has a Soviet Union stamp (CCCP). I wanted to integrate one word on the card that reflected a double meaning to the theme of fall; "tumble" refers to falling leaves and to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 2001. The card on the right is a sample for the students to see the use of asymmetrical balance and the use of one word reflecting fall, in this case a color. Chopstick wrappers and Chinese preserved apricot wrappers were used. Initially, I had intended for the students to also integrate a word (I printed out fortune cookie like strips of paper with dashed lines on them), but looking at the students' cards after the first workshop I am wondering if it might be best to leave the words off and just have the student designs. Below are a few images of some of the cards created for the swap. These cards will be completed sometime in the next few weeks.
Materials: tissue paper cut into squares, Q-tips, white glue, tagboard, colored papers, tracers of leaves and pumpkins (optional), food wrappers (I use a lot of Asian food wrappers in my work so I brought these in), scissor and stamps. I have a collection of very old used stamps and each student was allowed to pick one and I made the mistake of not first removing the very large stamps from the selection which might eclipse the cards design. It took some time to trade some very large stamps with student for smaller stamps.
Step 1: Discuss what the word "Theme" means. Discuss what imagery might represent fall. Discuss asymmetrical composition as each card will have an asymmetrical composition.
Step 2: Students take bits of tissue paper squares and using a Q-tip apply glue to tag board cut into 2.5" x 3.5" rectangles(in this case we used recycled food boxes).Carefully students trim off extra tissue papers.

Step 3: Students cut out a shape representing fall. And glue this to their card.
 Step 4: Students each create 2 cards as we need to create 50 for the trade. They can add a stamp to one of the cards they create. Some chose to place the stamp on the back of the trading card.
 Step 5: Students fill out an informational card that is glued to the back of their ATC cards.

Above: Four of the completed student cards before they are glazed.

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