Painting the Landscape

Spray paint may be used for this project, but with younger children it is much easier to create a mixture of tempera paint with glue and water (and it saves a step in the process).  Because the glue and tempera mixture is semi-transparent when it dries, you may wish to have the students cover the entire surface of the landscape with a coat of tempera paint.  This primer coat will cover the text from the newsprint and give you a more uniform surface color.

For a Martian landscape, students mixed red and brown with a little bit of orange to create a rusty brown color.  After creating the appropriate color, white glue and water were combined, using the amount of water necessary to make the mixture the appropriate consistency for painting.  Next, a small amount of the rusty brown paint was added.  The paint mixture will go a long way because only a small amount is needed to color the glue.  More paint will give a more opaque coat.  Less paint will be more transparent when the glue dries.  In order to get an even color over the entire landscape, measure the amount of paint, glue and water you use so each batch of 'paint' is similar.

Students wore old clothing or covered their clothes with painting shirts or aprons.  After covering their work surface with plastic, they used brushes to paint the surface of the landscape with the glue-paint mixture.  As sections of the surface were painted, other students scattered clean sand over the glue mixture before it dried.  The sand combines with the glue giving a nice texture to the landscape.  Excess sand was then carefully removed and recovered by tilting the board over newspaper.  Additional coats of glue mixture and sand can be applied as desired.  After the boards dried, the students provided finishing touches, adding interest to their completed landscapes.

Note: It is important to clean the brushes and not let them dry out during the process.  If the glue begins to become too sticky on the brush, clean before continuing.  Remember that this is a glue mixture!

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Creating the Landscape   Robotics in the Elementary and Preschool Classroom
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