Going Green: Recycled Paper Mosaic Art

To celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd,  our Elementary Entourage bloggers are teaming up to bring you ideas for "Going Green" in the classroom. Check out our posts for the rest of the month to get ideas for using less paper, recycling, reusing and more!

I love a good art project in kindergarten, but sometimes feel like we waste a ton of paper when creating, especially cut and paste projects. We recycle our scraps of course, but another way I try to minimize the waste is setting up scrap bins.  As students cut out and create with colored paper they place the large scraps in a bin in the center of the table. Then either I or my recycling helper sort the scraps by color for me to store in separate bins.  We end up with lots of pretty variations of the same color throughout the year, and I usually bring any fun scraps I have from home as well. So Earth Day is the perfect time to pull out these scraps for a little recycled art!
For this project, first you will need small squares of blue and green papers and a black and white outline of the Earth. You could have students cut squares themselves or even just tear the pieces. I had Madelynn work on this project for me so I cut them up to save time. Depending on how much time you have, you may want to do the same in your classroom. I put the colored scraps in separate cups to make it easier to grab and glue.
Next, get gluing! Simply glue the green pieces onto the land areas and the blue scraps to create water. With older students you may not even want to begin with an outline. It would be a great way to see if students can create their own Earths based on prior knowledge.
 Our two year old version got a little messy and difficult to differentiate land from water, but I think its beautiful nonetheless! 
You can create fun mosaics like this any time of year by simply finding a black and white outline and cutting up the colors you need. Here are just a few ideas I came up with for the upcoming holidays:

Earth Day: Earth
Mother's Day: Flowers
Memorial Day: Flag
Father's Day: Tie
End of the Year: Sun

You can grab these free printable outlines here:

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