This project was inspired by this post from Thomas Elementary Art. I've really been excited about printing lately. Almost all of my classes are in the throes of a printing project right now. Third graders made collograph prints of quotes that inspire them. Collograph prints are prints made by gluing objects (paper, foam, string, etc.) onto a printing plate. Printing plates can be anything thick enough to roll ink onto. In our case we used cardboard. We made our printing plates by cutting out letters from craft foam and gluing them 'mirror image' onto cardboard plates. Kids learned that anything that you glue onto a printing plate will print backwards. We used mirrors to help us make sure that we glued everything backwards so that it will print legibly.
Kids were really engaged during this project. The hardest part for them was cutting out the little bits out of the middle of letters. After showing kids how to fold the foam and cut a little slit to get your scissors in, they were off. We cut all our letters out first, storing them in baggies until all the letters were ready. Using mirrors to check our work, we reversed all our letters, making sure to go from right to left. We had a partner check our work before we began to glue. This is what the printing plates look like after you print them:
On printing day it really helps to have everything neatly laid out and organized. The more prepared you are the neater the prints come out (and the less gray hair you'll get).