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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Torn Paper Santa - Zero Prep Art for Kids


Christmas falls just after the end of our school year in Australia. By December our stores are running low and we are very busy trying to get the classroom packed up and keep the children happy and settled. 

This torn paper Santa will make a perfect project for this time of year. You can use up excess paper scraps AND it is virtually zero prep!

I love torn paper projects, and the soft lines that are created by paper tearing.

A great idea, if you have the space in your room, is to keep tubs to store offcuts and scraps of paper from other projects throughout the year. Dedicate a different tub to each colour - then you will always have a go-to resource for days when you need to whip up and artwork! Once you teach your students some basic paper craft techniques, including paper tearing, they will gradually be able to create entire projects quite independently.

For this Santa, you will simply need red paper, buff (or brown) paper, black paper and white. You will also need a glue stick per child and a blue or black background piece. Sit your students down and tell them that they will be completing a torn paper artwork.


If you have not done many torn paper projects, it may be surprisingly challenging AND daunting for your students - especially the ones that like things to be precise. Explain that the aim of torn paper projects is that each artwork looks different and that the shapes are not exact. 

Demonstrate to your students how to tear paper. What!!? Yes, some students will need this explicit instruction, as they may not have had good experiences in tearing paper before. Show them how to place their index finger and thumb on either side of the line to be torn. Tell them that they must only tear the area between their thumbs. Show how to keep moving the fingers to develop a shape. If the fingers are moved too far away, they will lose control of the tearing line. Tell them to keep their fingers close to the space to be torn.

A few demonstrations of what happens when they tear from one corner right across the page, always gets a few giggles and is a good visual example of what will happen if  they move too fast. Perhaps have a 'tearing party' and get your students to practice tearing little white bits for the beard and hair - these pieces can be any shape and it will be a good place to start to get the fingers warmed up! 

Once students are confident in tearing paper, simply guide them through the shapes they will need. Start with a round face, add a triangle for the body and two curved rectangles for arms. The hat could be tricky - an easy option is to tear a curved triangle, or make an oval and a curved rectangle for the end that hangs down. Simply add each part separately. Ask students to tear a small circle for the end of the hat and glue little white pieces down for the beard and snow. Students can crayon the face details on!



As students finish their artwork, and need to wait for other class members still busy, they can find a partner and have a game of Santa Race and Trace!

Students can take turns at spinning and writing numerals to try to score 5 in a row to win. You can find this FREE worksheet in my TpT store. It is a sample out of an upcoming packet I am working on! Find it by clicking on the image below.


Easy to prepare, students can use a paper clip and pencil to spin! 


Each student writes in a different colour, so you can easily see who owns each number!


If you would like more Santa ideas, check out my newly revised Santa Fun Pack at TpT!


Thank you so much for stopping by today!

2 comments:

Sandy Welch said...

Both the Santa and the Santa game are very, very cute and just what I needed! Thank you!

TheElementary MathManiac said...

Love the ame and the art! It is amazing how many things you need to teach small children. There are many people who would just assume that kids would know how to tear paper. Good luck with the end of your school year.