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True Reflection Foam Print, Second Grade

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To coordinate with the second grade’s unit on the printing press, I wanted to introduce students to the concept of block printing. I loved the project I found here, but was bothered by the lack of true reflection. Another art teacher (here) solved the issue by gluing the foam design to the sky, after printing the reflection. However, I wanted students to be able to reuse the foam and preferred the look of the printed surface.

To create a reflection, it worked well to pre-crease the 12 x 18 paper along the center horizon line so that the dry, painted areas touched. Then, students opened the paper and made a well-inked first print in the sky along the crease. They removed the foam, quickly refolded along the crease, and immediately used the brayer to transfer the excess ink from the skyline to the water.

Although I love the dramatic colors in the final results, one tweak I will make for next year is recommending less purple. Reflections in blue areas were more pronounced.

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