Art projects for Sunday Church School: Chalk

This series of blogs about including art in the Sunday Church School will offer a variety of art techniques and ideas. Each week will focus on one medium, offering a tutorial for one project (which can be used at multiple age levels), as well as several other suggested ways to incorporate the medium in other projects. The purpose of the series is to offer Sunday Church School teachers ideas which they can keep in mind for future reference as they plan to use art in their classroom. Each technique can be applied to a variety of lessons, whether Bible stories, Church history, lessons on the Faith, etc. For the purpose of keeping it simple, the cross will be used in each illustration throughout the series.

Chalk is a little-used, but versatile, bright and beautiful medium for children of all ages to use for art. It is fairly inexpensive and can be used on paper, chalkboards, or sidewalks, depending on how permanent the art piece is desired to be. Here is one way to use chalk in the Sunday Church School class: glue-resist chalk drawing. Note: this is a 2 week project, since the glue needs to dry before the coloring begins.

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Cover the work area with newspaper, to protect the table from glue and/or chalk. Select a sturdy paper for the base of the project. White or black paper will make the chalk colors really “pop.”

Have your students draw with glue on the paper. (You can use white, black, or colored glue on white paper: and white glue on black paper) Encourage the students to draw large shapes; not small details (they can be added later with chalk), because the glue may run/pool.

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Allow the drawing to dry.

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When it is completely dry (at the next week of Sunday Church School), color the spaces between the glue with chalk. This can be done in several ways: coloring with pieces of chalk; or coloring with chalk and then blending the colors with fingers or cotton swabs (demonstrated); or using fingers to spread colored chalk powder (pulverized chalk) in the spaces and perhaps even over the glue, if desired. You can use slender chalk (like teachers used on blackboards long ago) or sidewalk chalk: either comes in many bright colors! Note: provide dry paper towels for the students to wipe the chalk dust off their fingers between colors.

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Lightly spray the finished results with chalk fixative or fine-spraying hairspray to keep the chalk from rubbing off.

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Your project is finished!

Here are links to similar projects: http://totschool.shannons.org/glue-paint-and-chalk-pastels/ used colored glue; and http://missartypants.blogspot.com/2013/10/stained-glass-windows.html uses white glue on black paper.

Following are many other ideas of ways to use chalk for art projects with children:

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“Paint” with chalk! This link recommends this method for preschoolers, but suggests that kids of all ages would enjoy it, as well. What’s NOT to like about painting water all over a piece of black (or white) paper and then drawing on it with chalk? The colors left behind are vivid; and can even be smeared with fingers (like finger paint) to blend them. http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/46190/painting-with-chalk-and-water

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Allow your students to use chalk to draw on the sidewalks outside of your church, to help parishioners see what you’ve been learning about! Here’s a suggestion for a variation on drawing with sidewalk chalk: draw, and then paint/sprinkle over the drawing with water! http://www.mykidsadventures.com/chalk-plus-water-art/

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Do you have tiny nubs of chalk that you don’t know how to use? Separate them by color and crush them. Allow your Sunday Church School students to “draw” with glue and sprinkle the chalk powder on the wet glue. Spray with hairspray to affix. (Inspired by http://www.savvysource.com/activities/activity_b786_crushed-chalk-art-work.)

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Draw or paint with chalk onto sandpaper as suggested in the first two methods listed here: http://www.blogmemom.com/art-activities-for-kids-sand-paper-art13169/

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Soak sidewalk chalk in a water-sugar mixture for brighter drawings that don’t rub off so easily as dry chalk drawings: http://mom.me/toddler/12637-kid-talk-wet-chalk-art/

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Trace around a stencil with chalk. Smudge the chalk line away from the stencil shape with a cotton ball for a “glowing” effect: http://buggyandbuddy.com/crafts-kids-chalk-stencil-heart-collage/ or http://buggyandbuddy.com/christmas-light-chalk-stencil-art-kids/

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Here are a variety of uses for sidewalk chalk, indoors or outside: http://www.brighthubeducation.com/preschool-crafts-activities/113203-eleven-sidewalk-chalk-activities-for-indoors-and-outdoors/. Although it is suggested for preschoolers, many of these would work for a variety of ages of students.

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