While rummaging through the drawers and cabinets of my new classroom back in August, I ran across several packages of these stamp-cut papers. I talked with the fifth grade teachers about something they were studying, so i could have their stamps relate. In science, they were studying animals- so it really doesn't get much easier than that! I had them all write down the animal of their choice, and my helpers and I went through all my how-to drawing books for each animal and made some photocopies for them to reference.
I had them practice their animal several times in their artist's notebook so they could carefully plan out their design without wasting all the stamp paper. I encouraged them to add words with stencils and a cent value. They all wanted to color them, but I feared they would rush through it and take away from the fact that they produced some high-quality fifth grade drawings.
We discussed value in a few previous projects, so I showed them how they could incorporate some value with ink. After pencil, they outlined everything in sharpies of various sizes. The shark below was a good example of value. I showed her how to gradually space out her pen strokes as she moved down the shark to transition from black to white.
This turtle below, was my absolute favorite (if I'm allowed to have favorites). I wish he would have explored some texture or value more, but his contour drawing was so cute! Other turtles had generic grid-patterned shells, whereas he took the time give each piece of the shell attention.
It's so hard not having the space or time to hang every single piece! They were all so cute, and they all worked so hard on them! It's amazing how much interest rises when they get to make a choice about what they draw.