Venice -  A Study in Collage and Culture




Students will read and learn about Italy’s unique city- Venice. 

They will create with a partner their own island city/country.

The island will be a three-dimensional collage board using paper, gesso, and paint.  Students will also design and write their own pamphlet describing their city/country. 

Day 1:  D.O.L./Writing Topic/Classroom discussion of Article, “Venice is

            Sinking” in Time for Kids.


Experts warn that Venice Italy’s treasured city built on 118 islands may sink eight inches in the next 50 years  Reasons for this include sinking grounds and rising sea levels

Venice Italy has sank 5 inches in the past century the Italian government is exploring a solution called Project Moses a $2 billion dam

True or False:

1.      Venice is in Europe.

2.      Venice is a city made up of islands.

3.      Flooding is an everyday threat to Venice.

4.      Venice has more than 500,000 residents.

5.      People have agreed on a solution to keep Venice from sinking.

Writing/Drawing Project

In your Writing Journals, create a unique city like Venice.  Your city is made up of five islands.  Describe your city!  What kinds of things does your city have?  You can be as creative as you like.  Also be realistic.  What kind of services much you need?( hospital, recreation, schools, parks.)  You must also include a transportation network connecting the islands and a plan to control flooding. 


Next… draw your map of your unique city.  Give your city a name and label all services that the people will need.  It should be very detailed and colorful.  If you can, include the routes for transportation whether it is by plane, car, boat, etc…Take your time and be neat. 

Day 2:  With partner, combine your unique islands.  Propose a solution to

the sinking problem.  Introduce Island Collage Boards.  Students will use cardboard as base of island and build islands with paper materials. Show them ways to crumple paper and add relief to their board.  Use glue, tape etc… to add things to the board. 

Day 3:  Begin building island collage boards.

Day 4:  Finish building/ designing collage boards.

Day 5:  Gesso

Day 6:  Paint

Day 7:  Finish Painting

Day 8:  Class discussion, “Artists’ Chair” (this is where students can compliment each other on their islands, ask questions, comment on the project itself (likes/dislikes) and feel good about their work!

Day 9:  Introduce Pamphlets!  See “My Island.”  This was a Sally Wilma addition J  Basically, this pamphlet is a writing assignment using a brochure like form that asks them to describe their island city/country.  See criteria that students will follow and be assessed on.  Brainstorming/Prewriting

My Island Brochure

As a final project for our island unit, you will write a pamphlet describing your new city/country.  You will be assessed on the information in your pamphlet based on the criteria listed below.

Information for Your Pamphlet:

·        General Description:  Location, climate, and how to get there from Seattle

·        Brief History:  When founded, by whom, major events in history

·        Type of government and any major laws

·        Description of at least five major geographical features (mountain range, major lakes, bay, desert, etc…)

·        Description of at least five points of interest, services, and recreational facilities that your city/country has for tourists.  These are places that people may want to visit either for its natural beauty (waterfall or National Park) or its commercial attraction (beach resort, amusement park, other…)

·        You must also include a transportation network and a plan to control flooding.

·        Anything original that you can think of that would enhance your pamphlet.  Have fun!

Day 10:  Rough Drafts

Day 11:  Revise/Edit/

Day 12:  Publish in Lab, Illustrate in Class

Day 13:  Final Touch-ups, final additions

We will probably display our brochures/pamphlets so that students can admire their classmates’ work. 

Things to consider before doing this!  Make sure that you teach cleaning up skills, which are so important especially with paintbrushes and glue!  Allow plenty of time to clean up and assign job roles so everyone is doing something!  Don’t leave the expensive gesso can on a table where it can fall and spill all over your floor and wall of your classroom.  Have a display at your school where others can enjoy these colorful brochures and collage island boards!
















































Making an effort to increase student learning by integrating  art will help children gain meaningful context to their lives.