Monday, May 13, 2013

Symmetrical Insect Collage

First graders gained knowledge of science, math and art with this project.  I taught them that insects are a special category of "bugs" that share the same characteristics - six legs, three body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), and two antennae.  Some also have wings, pincers, and stingers.  Next, we talked about how insects, such as butterflies, are symmetrical.  I drew pictures of symmetrical shapes and non-symmetrical shapes on the board, and discussed the difference.

Finally, it was time to begin the collage.  A collage is a picture made with cut paper, fabric, yarn, etc.  I demonstrated how to make the symmetrical shapes used for the head, thorax and abdomen.  I folded a small piece of construction paper in half, drew half the desired shape next to the fold, and cut on the line (it's like making a Valentine heart.)  Students could truly make just about any shape and it would work for their insect.  I pointed out to students that the folds in the middle of the body shapes should be lined up and that this was the line of symmetry. Next, I showed students how to make matching pairs of legs, antennae, eyes, wings, etc. by folding construction paper scraps in half, drawing the shape, and cutting both out at the same time.   Students had a great time designing their insects!  As a finishing touch, we added glitter - I let kids decide if they wanted to apply their glue, or if they wanted me to, and then I sprinkled the glitter.


  1. I love this project and plan to do it with some first graders tomorrow. Thank you so much for the great lesson!

    1. I'm so glad you find it useful! This project took me two 50 minute art classes to complete. The three body parts on day 1; and the details on day 2. I also showed students the Brainpop Jr. video on insects on day 1.