Carey Roeschlaub- Flex 229B-09
Grade level: 5th grade
Time Frame: 2 sessions at 45 minutes


TOPIC: Visual arts lesson featuring a montage which is artwork created from parts of photographs or other pictures.

RATIONALE: Expression in the visual arts involves the interpretation of thoughts, perceptions and ideas in creating original artwork. By having students create a montage they experience this interpretation process. It encourages students to respect and appreciate the originality and creativity of their artwork. Students also learn to recognize visual structures and components of the visual arts which increases their awareness and comprehension of the language of visual arts.


Creative Expression: Each student will create a unique montage based on a theme using pictures from magazines with each montage taking up the specified space determined by the background paper.

Artistic Perception: Students will perceive and describe the visual elements line, shape, and space as well as the theme in a montage.

STRATEGY: A combination of direct instruction and guided discovery will be used.

VOCABULARY: collage, line, montage, shape, space, theme
collage- a picture made by pasting pieces of paper or other materials to a flat surface
line- boundary between two areas or shapes; varies in width, direction and length
montage- artwork created from parts of photographs or other pictures
shape- surface configuration of a thing; form
space- particular extent of a surface
theme- unifying or dominant idea

I will pose the following questions: What is a collage and what is needed to make a collage? After discussing that a collage is a picture made from cut or torn paper pasted on a background and showing examples of collages, introduce the idea of a montage. Explain that a montage is a special kind of collage and that it is made from parts of magazines, photographs, or other pictures that the artist puts together in a new way. Show several examples of montages and explain the theme of each montage example and the use of line, shape and space that the artist uses. Note that there is no white space in the artwork and that all of the background space is used. Stress that the art of montage requires imagination and the trying of several arrangements of different pictures to create an image that is suitable for you the artist. Also explain that often times the idea for a montage theme comes from the pictures you find and not from a preconceived notion.

1. Distribute the materials, except for the background paper and paste.

2. Have students spend 20 minutes looking through magazines and cut out pictures they may use in their montage. Remind students that it is okay if they don’t have an idea for their montage yet that their idea may come from the pictures they take from the magazines. Also encourage students to search for pictures of people, animals, buildings and consumer products, as well as pictures with unusual colors, textures or patterns.

3. Distribute background paper. Have students try several arrangements of the pictures they have collected for a montage. Final ideas are likely to come if students try to: Cut smaller shapes from some pictures, overlap shapes, place shapes on background paper and turn paper in several directions, and think of picture elements which might be combined into a strange animal, machine, or dream-like scene.

4. Distribute paste so students can complete the montage.

CLOSURE: Once the montages are complete they will be displayed on a bulletin board and teacher will point out that montage artworks often have a strange, dream-like quality because parts of real objects in separate pictures are combined in an unusual way. Students will pair up and explain the theme of their montage and the use of line, shape and space with their partner. They will then share this information with another pair. Teacher will ask for a summary from each group of 4 students based on the importance of theme, line, shape, and space with regard to making a montage.

Teacher will visually check for a completed montage from each student. Specifically, the teacher will check that each montage has a theme and that the montage covers the specified space determined by the background paper with no visible white space (background paper) showing. Students will then have to write a short description of their own montage as well as a written description of 2 classmates montages. Each written description should include the identification of and brief summary of the theme seen in the montage as well as their perception of line, shape and space that was apparent in each montage they evaluated. Lastly they should comment on how these elements contributed to the overall piece of artwork.

old picture magazines or pictorial sections of newspapers
construction paper, 1 sheet per student (background for montage)

;collect scissors and paste
have students place magazines and newspapers in designated locations neatly stacked
check desk and floor space for scraps that need to be thrown away
collect artwork after the evaluation for displaying

EXTENSIONS: Advertisers often use montage techniques to show a product such as a large soft drink bottle superimposed on a hot dry desert scene. Give students the task of creating an advertisement for a product or service through a montage.

Adapted from: Discover Art 5 (1985). Davis publication, Inc., Worcester, Massachusetts.