I showed my 3rd graders the famous "LOVE" print by Robert Indiana, as we were talking about lettering, and word art. We then generated a list of popular "Slang" terms that we use today- which also got us into a talk about texting shorthand. From there, I asked students to pick a word or term that was 4 letters or less. ( I promised them they'd appreciate my limiting them later). After learning about block lettering, each student created the letters they'd use to spell their term, and drew/colored patterns inside each one (side note- I learned that some students colored/designed the negative space of their block letters- not sure if this is a right brain vs left brain thing?) Anyway, after the designing was done, we took a break, and made our backgrounds using the simple tissue paper/starch collage method. An oldie, but a goodie. While the papers dried, we cut out our letters. Then, we arranged them and stuck them on the background. Now, some students were very quick, and able get their letters on the paper while it was still wet. We still needed glue, but I found that they glued flatter. The next step was to trace the letters with black string, for contrast. Finally the students wrote other words with the same meaning around the negative space left from their words. This project was done in many steps- it took a full day for the block letters/designs, another for the background/finishing of the letters, and still another for the yarn and the sharpie words. And, I did have them make a list of their words before putting them on the project, to reduce spelling issues. There was a moment in the middle of this that I wondered what we had gotten into, but in the end, the kids loved the graphic nature of the letters, and I loved the relevance to their everyday life. We had a great conversation about words we use with our friends vs words we use with our teachers, bosses, etc. I had hoped that they would divide the colors between the letters and the background with warm and cool colors- and we worked on it, but in the end, the marker temptation was too great, and they just could not limit their colors. I am hanging these for our upcoming Art Show on Thursday, and just love as the other grades walk by wondering why they never do cool projects like this.