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Paintbrush Rocket | 1st Grade – Laurel Burch Cats!
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1st Grade – Laurel Burch Cats!

1st Grade – Laurel Burch Cats!

My all time favorite lesson to teach to 1st Graders!  It has lots of good vocabulary for them.  WARM & COOL COLORS, DECORATIVE LINE, PATTERN.  Creating this with mixed media gives students the practice of cutting, gluing, painting, and drawing.  Lots of transitions of materials makes for happy 6-7 year olds!

We start by looking at a couple of Laurel Burch’s Fantastic Felines…


I have the students trace a pattern of a cat head to get started. Either a tall or wide head. I have 4 classes, so one is a warm colored tall, cool colored tall, warm colored wide, and cool colored wide.  Students cut zigzag and curvy lines from construction paper to create stripes.  We add eyes, nose, cheeks and whiskers with construction.  Then details can be in paint or marker.  When I have silver and gold sharpies, I will let them add extra details that way, otherwise paint!


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We also paint flowers and green leaves for the background.  The flowers are tempera painted on white paper.  We start with a 4″circles, paint them in solid, then paint a ring around them in a different color, then another ring in a new color but this time make the petals. Once they are dry, we outline them with India Ink and paint some leaves on green construction. This does make the project take longer, but the materials and processes are each so different, students are never bored.  I teach 45 minute classes, it takes us 4 class meetings to have it complete.

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  • Kathleen Zeranski
    Posted at 15:13h, 08 September Reply

    Oh also what size paper did you use for the cats, background, flowers, and leaves?

    • gingerpacer
      Posted at 20:26h, 22 October Reply

      So sorry I am getting back so late, you probably already started! I used 12×18 for this one, but I have used 18×18 for backgrounds. Cats are smaller 8×10. I have made the cats larger too, 11×17. The cat head is traced and cut first. Then the cut lines. The cut lines were 2×12 for the tall cat and 2×15 for the wide cat. Then, when dry the excess is trimmed off. I hope this helps!!!

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