Cut, Collage, and Create!

Co-Authored by Linda & Lisa of KinderLit

We love creating books with our kindergartners! And they love having literature to take home and keep their own copies of pieces of forever.

But we want to keep our prep time to a minimum and make the children responsible for the work. So here’s a brief explanation of why and how we do that!

Cutting practice takes PRACTICE!  Teaching eye-hand coordination and Bi-lateral coordination can be a challenge at times, but we have developed ideas and materials to help you! Our students create “collage books” using shapes they cut out of paper. Why do we use collage instead of crayon drawings?

  • We have discovered that young children tend to scribble when drawing an object and nothing looks as it should!
  • A collage puts the thinking back onto the children. They need to ask themselves, “Which square or rectangle should I use for the body? The head?” etc. 
  • A collage requires planning. Students must decide where the pieces go on the page; make sure they don’t cover the words on the page; decide about spacing so as to not leave too much space on the page. 
  • A collage requires measuring. Are all the legs the same size? Is there the correct number of legs? How do we make something longer? Shorter? 
  • Every collage is unique! No two illustrations are the same, unlike ones that are created with patterns or tracers. The children take pride in their work and find success at any developmental or instructional level. 

We only prep squares and rectangles on our paper cutters for our pages. Then we teach our students how to cut off the corners while we chant “Corner, Corner, Corner, Corner.” We trim the resulting little points to make circles and ovals while saying in a squeaky voice, “Haircut, Haircut, Haircut, Haircut, Haircut.” No tracing pattern needed!

One important “cut” is the mountain shape from a square or rectangle. The children cut up the mountain and then down again resulting in a fun shape for smiles, frowns, frog bodies, and much more!

We only prep for the main pieces of the illustration for the day. In our classrooms, we have a large container (cardboard or plastic box) for all the “extra” paper from the day. We save it so the children use small scraps for details of the illustrations such as eyes, whiskers, flower petals, or sun rays.

Many of our students will dig into that box during free choice time to make their own creations!

You can get our complete set of directions with all our wording, techniques, and helpful hints on TpT or by clicking right here! Give a KinderLit book a try! Your students will love you for it!

About KinderLit: Linda and Lisa have over 60 years combined experience in Arizona, Washington, and Massachusetts teaching kindergarten. They have traveled around the country exhibiting and presenting at kindergarten conferences. Lisa is still teaching in Phoenix and Linda has retired and moved to Georgia to be close to her grandchildren.

Lisa and Linda were honored as excellent kindergarten teachers by the Washington Elementary School Board in Phoenix, AZ. Lisa was selected as an Office Max “A Day Made Better” in 2010 and is a Lamp of Learning winner in 2012 in her school district.