MOSAIC COASTER & TRIVET/HOTPAD TILE
1. Give each student a tile. With Pre-K through second grade I take care of the backing by gluing a felt square to the bot- tom of the tile or affixing the cork or felt stick-on dots. With 3rd grade and above I have the students perform that task.
2. I like to put the glass in containers around the room and allow students to get up and find just the right pieces for their design. I give them a small collecting plate and they can “treasure hunt” multiple times. This allows the tactile artists and people who are restless to enjoy the project by moving around. The tactile part of the process brings joy to many students who otherwise hurry through art projects.
3. Emphasize to students that anything they can draw or paint, they can create with the mosaic material. The material is also beautiful in abstract designs, patterns and colors on their tile. If they are trying to create a pic- ture of something like a flower, they should make sure that the background color contrasts (is different than) the color of the main image. The mosaic tile work is like creating an art puzzle. Many students take great delight in carefully piecing the shapes together. There is no wrong way to do the creative part of the project.
4. Curb your expectations. Most Pre-K to 2nd grade students will do abstract designs with colors and shapes. It is only when students are older that they can do a lot of representational art. I never bring samples to class because I don’t want a Kindergarten student trying to do the work of a ten-year-old. It only frustrates the child and turns them off the subject.
5. Spread glue evenly on the tile using the tip of the glue bottle. It should be spread thick enough to hold the glass but not so thick that it runs and drips on the table. The glue will dry clear so don’t worry too much. It is often easiest with younger students to have an adult spreading glue on the tiles while the children are collecting glass pieces. Older students will have their own glue techniques.
6. Once the student is finished with the tile, put it on a drying table. You can write the students’ names on a piece of masking tape and put it on the top of the tile or you could have them put their names on the bottom before they start using the glue and glass. Elmer’s Glue-All and Weldbond take one to two hours to dry at room temperature.
Younger children are fascinated with the glass but have a shorter attention span for sitting down and creating than the older children do. Put the tile in front of each child and have an adult apply glue to the whole tile. Skip the walking around and collecting part of the lesson and put plates/bins of mixed glass in the middle of the table in front of groups of children and let them search through the bins. They will then put their selections directly on the tile. Expect the explanation and project to last 25-40 minutes. Some children will finish sooner than others and should be allowed free play (after washing up).