First graders looked at the work of pop artist Andy Warhol, particularly of his colorful printed portraits.
Students sketched their portrait (of themselves or someone important to them) focusing on filling the space with the person and some details about the person in the background. They did this on white copy paper that I cut to the size of the styrofoam plates.
When finished with the sketch, they could get a styrofoam printing plate from me. Since the plate and sketch are the same size, they can put the sketch on top of the plate and retrace their drawing to get their drawing onto the plate. I tell them that dull pencils are best for this step as sharp pencils can cut up the styrofoam. Talking about Warhol, the sketch and transferring the sketch in my experience take 1-1.5 classes.
The next class, we review Warhol and pop art. Students color using the markers on their printing plate. Different areas can be colored in using different colors and details like polka dots and stripes can be added! Students are then given damp papers to print on on a tray at their tables. If you have a spray bottle, you can go around spraying papers, but I found it best to wet papers in a stack at the sink and leave it out overnight. The students leave the plates at their tables then put the wet paper over it. Stress the importance of not banging or wildly rubbing the paper; this will result in blurry prints since the paper and plate moves around! Rather, they should keep one hand on their paper at all times and gently rub the back until they see the marker come through.
They go through this process 5-6 times. They only need 4 for their finished product, but this is so they can choose their best 4! Printing also takes about 1-2 classes. I cut the papers to print on much larger than the plates so they don't have to struggle to place a wet paper exactly on top of their plate. They can write their name on the wet paper with a marker as they will later cut it off.
When most of the class has finished printing and prints are dry, They outline their prints with colored pencils to give them more definition. Warhol does this with some of his prints as well!
After outlining, I gave them cardboard tracers that were the same size as their printing plates. Some prints weren't clear or were not completely colored in so this helps them cut out their work in roughly the same size. After cutting out their prints, they glue 4 of them on a background paper and write their name on the back.