Fish Collages



Exploring color and pattern through collage, this lesson was produced by a college student majoring in Art Education.


Students will learn about patterns and how they can repeat or change shape.

Students will learn collage using ripped construction paper, putting different colors next to each other.

Some fish may look different than others by having different colors or patterns but they are still fish. This same attitude can be applied to different types of people.


White paper
Colored Paper
Glue sticks


1. What lives in the ocean?
2. How do fish breathe?
3. How do fish move through the water?
4. What colors can fish be?
5. What is pattern?
6. Where do you see pattern?


1. Hold a discussion on the ocean by asking what the students see when they are at the ocean. Ask about sea life and what lives in the ocean. Talk about the sizes of fish, how they can be really tiny or very large.

2. Talk about pattern and color and discuss how some fish blend into the background or sand by changing pattern and color to protect themselves.

3. Show images of fish and hold a discussion on pattern and color.

4. show examples of the project.

5. Demonstrate how to draw a fish shape. Demonstrate how to apply ripped paper to create shape and pattern.

6. Hand out materials.

7. Collect all scrap paper and put in scrap box. Clean up remainder of project.

Students can share with the class what type of patterns and colors they used.


Explore different kinds of rips with the collage paper- fast, slow, zig-zag, steady, rough, smooth...


The author of this lesson, Melissa Ludwig, a student of the School of Visual Arts in NYC, is the 2001-2002 scholarship recipient of the Keith Haring Scholarship award. This project was a collaboration with The School of Visual Arts & PS 3 in New York City

To find out more about The Keith Haring Foundation Scholarship offered through the School of Visual Arts, please contact: Director, School of Visual Arts/Visual Arts Foundation, 15 Gramercy Park South, NYC 10003 or SVA's web site