Tear It Up!

Book Recommendation

Perfect Square

Michael Hall

TIP: Once you have read this book, share square pieces of paper with your students and brainstorm different ideas of what they could do to the paper to change them.

  • How can you use tools or your hands to change the shape?
  • How can you rearrange the shapes to create a story?
  • What new shapes do you notice in the pieces? Rearrange them and look for new shapes.

Either glue down the shapes or put them in an envelope so they can be rearranged again and again.

See how Jeffrey Gibson uses layering of shapes here!

How can a single piece of paper inspire an artwork or a story? In this story, a perfect square goes through multiple transformations to create different shapes, images, and a place!

Prompting Questions:

  • What other things could you do to change the shape of the square?
  • How can a new thing come from changing an old thing?
  • Describe a time you did this!

Related Creative Activities

Lesson Plan

Combining Human and Animal Forms

Students will use visual observation skills to carefully examine the Assyrian Bird-Headed Deity limestone relief and explore the movement, sounds, and traits of different animals. They will first explore these aspects in humans and birds of prey, as seen in the limestone relief, and will then do the same with “animals” they create from two or more animals. This lesson enables children to draw upon previous knowledge and imagination in order to act out the movement, sounds, and other traits of the animals they create.

Thomas Hudson, The Radcliffe Family, about 1742. 126 in. x 174 in. Long-term loan from the Berger Collection, TL-17968.
Creative Practice

Make a Pose!

Follow these steps to create a tableau, or "frozen picture," in your classroom or home! This is an effective tool for encouraging children to notice details, which is an important reading and pre-writing skill.