I went to a TEAE regional mini-conference during the summer (2012) and came back with this great lesson! It was a great way to introduce the work of Henri Matisse and try our hand at "drawing with scissors!"
Fourth graders learned about Henri Matisse through a PowerPoint and using a classroom "Getting to Know the Artist" poster. Then, I demonstrated how to cut the shapes out from the center of each small rectangle. We reviewed positive and negative space as we glue down the pieces that had the centers cut out of them. After those pieces were glue down, we experimented with placement of the cutout shapes. Students were guided not to glue a piece on top of one of the same color. The last step was to use black construction paper and cut out lines, swirls, broken lines, and glue those on top. I mounted their finished pieces on black construction paper.
White background paper 11X8 inches
Each rectangle of colored paper was precut to 2 3/4 X 4in
Black construction paper for mounting was 12X9 inches
Here are some pictures of our artwork: