Interdisciplinary Work: Collage Assignments

I love doing cross-curricular projects that connect literature and art. But there are always a few students who claim to "just hate art stuff." My dad used to be one of them! So I often include this type of project as part of a differentiated array of options. That way the anti-art crowd can do something else.

Still, I want everyone to experiment with using graphics to express their ideas at times. Collage is a nice option, since students can use things they find online or in print instead of drawing something themselves, if they prefer.

Every year when I assign the 1984 collage project, I love the results. They make for such an interesting (if terrifying) classroom display. The connections students make between modern media and the ideas embedded in the novel are powerful.

Here are some of my favorite results:

There are a lot of ways to use collage in the classroom. Let students create a collage about themselves in the first week of school. Or a poetry collage, using images to express the meaning behind a poem and then write about the connections. Students might create a character collage, identifying the important themes and characterization elements that make up a round character in a novel. 

Collage is especially great at the start of the year so you can get some student-generated work up on your walls. 

Do you do any art projects in your English classroom? How do you go about attracting the part of the group that always thinks art is for kindergarten?

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