• In the Garden

    Romare Bearden, In the Garden from American Portfolio. Lithograph on paper, 28 3/4 x 21 1/4 inches. Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

Tear and Paste Collage

Visual Arts


1: A Colorful Time with Rhythm and Rhyme

1-2 30-minute lessons


How do artists tell a story using linkes, shapes, and colors?

I can identify various art materials and tools.
I can create original art that expresses ideas about myself.
I can understand characteristics of the elements of Art, including lines, shapes, and colors.
I can understand and use visual arts to illustrate a story through collage.

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Day 1

Direct Instruction

Discuss the artwork In the Garden, by Romare Bearden, paraphrasing responses and point to areas of the image students discuss.

  • What’s going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can we find?

Have students identify colors and shapes in the image. Have students identify the setting and character in this image.

Describe the way that Romare Bearden made many pieces of art — collage.

Bring the rhyme “Jack & Jill” into your conversation. You may want to read the rhyme aloud or show a YouTube video of the rhyme.

Explain that students will create a collage, like Romare Bearden. Their collage will tell the story of “Jack & Jill.” Demonstrate how to create a collage. Encourage students to let their art evolve as they work with a spirit of experimentation.

Day 2

Direct Instruction

As students continue to work on collage, circulate and ask students to identify their colors, shapes, characters and settings.

Guided Practice/Application

Demonstrate tearing construction paper and gluing it to a white sheet to create an image.

Independent Practice

Students will create a collage that illustrates the rhyme “Jack & Jill.”

Classroom Extension Ideas

Discuss how artwork, like books, often tells stories with characters and settings. Using an image of artwork that students are familiar with, identify the characters and settings. Ask, “What is going on in this picture? What do you think will happen next?”

Have students write down the stories that their own collages tell.

Differentiation and Modifications:

Beyond Grade Level: Some students may be able to finish their work quickly. Encourage them to add further details to their work. They may also create a collage of another rhyme.

At Grade Level: Most students will create the artwork according to the instructions given.

Below Grade Level: Some students will struggle to create imaginatively and will need support. Ready cutouts can be given to them to trace. They need encouragement to concentrate on completing their work. Teacher can show them how to break the task up in smaller sections. Teacher can think of simpler alternatives and help of peers can be provided to them.


Can students identify specific colors and shapes?

Did students illustrate “Jack & Jill”? Did their collage include details from the rhyme?

What motor skills did they show by creating a collage?

Materials Needed

white paper (12×18″), colored construction paper, glue, markers, crayons


primary colors, secondary colors, shapes, collage, character, setting

Artwork in this Lesson

  • Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
    • Romare Bearden | In the Garden

Sample Student Work