In this lesson plan we demonstrate the traditional version of the technique and show how simple and effective it can be and a Year 5 group demonstrate a version of mosaic using recycled plastics.
By following this lesson plan you get a step by step guide to the technique of mosaic and advice on managing the risks of working with glass tiles and cement based grout. The recycled plastics workshop was inspired by a trip to The British Museum and can be a whole school project.
Key Stage:KS 3&4 Art and Design
Overview:This lesson plan can be used:
To start a mosaic project.
To develop ideas and understanding of processes and materials.
As part of study of any artist using mosaic in their work.
As part of study of the Roman or Byzantine empires.
As part of individual study
Background - Mosaic
A mosaic is made by putting together small pieces of different colours to make a picture. Most mosaics are made of small pieces of glass or pottery. Mosaic art has a long history but was particularly popular in Roman times including this example from Fishbourne Roman Palace, West Sussex. Although traditionally made in glass or ceramic, mosaics can be made from lots of different materials including pebbles, shells and plastic.
Making a traditional mosaic
This video shows the making of a mosaic using glass tiles mounted on a plywood base approx 32cms x 32cms. Glass can be sharp and care should be taken. Goggles should be worn and do not clean surfaces by wiping with bare hands. Grout contains cement and gloves should be worn.
Watch the video a few times before you begin and maybe start with a relatively simple design or a pattern.
Simple designs such as stars, suns and geometric shapes often work best, especially when you are just starting to learn the technique. Mosaic lends itself to repeated pattern or very simple designs of birds, insects or flowers.
What risks are there with a mosaic workshop?
This workshop involves tools and sharp edges and adult supervision maybe required. We have produced a simple sheet to help you negate the risks of using these materials. Art UK and CultureStreet accept no responsibility for injury or accidental damage as a result of using this lesson plan. Please be careful.
Download risks advice mosaic.pdf
Mosaic with recycled materials
This video shows the making of a mosaic using recycled plastics by a Year 5 group. To get inspiration for their mosaic the group visit The British Museum to see a sculpture called The Tree of Life. This sculpture is made from many recycled weapons and the students make their own interpretation back in school using recycled plastics to send their own message.