Art Lesson Plan: Text as Texture - Collage

Text as Texture

Submitted by: Judi Morgan, Saint George’s School
UNIT: Collage - Text
Lesson: "Text as Texture" Collage
Grade Level: High School (adaptable to middle school)

Time: 10- 45 minute class sessions


Student Objectives:

  • Explore the principals of rhythm, movement and contrast

  • Explore the element of texture (implied)

  • Learn to attract and lead the eye rhythmically across and through a designed image

  • Use text in such a way that it loses its identity as words and presents, instead, a textural image that also displays rhythm, movement, and contrast

Content Standard:

  • Understanding and applying media, techniques and processes

  • Using knowledge of structures and functions

  • Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

  • Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others.

text art text arttext art


Related Learning Component:

  • Historical: Comparing the work of past and present collage artists

  • Studio Production: Creation of collage utilizing text as texture and a means for creating movement, rhythm and contrast

  • Subject Matter Integration: Science- optical illusion. Math- measurement/proportion

Motivational/Anticipatory Set:

  • How do your eyes "travel" through an image? What "traffic signals" create the direction/path for your eyes to travel on? (Use images of paintings (color) for discussion purposes)

  • What if there was no color to help mark the way? What methods could an artist use to guide the movement of your eyes? (Use images without color for discussion)

  • Now we will take it a step further. In advertising, words are used to create the paths our eyes follow. What if we can’t read the words?

  • Can you create an image that creates movement and rhythm using black and white text as texture?


Collage: An artistic composition created by gluing various materials/images together

Rhythm: Repetition of a chosen visual theme within a composition. Recurring shapes, lines, colors and values create rhythmic linkage.

In design there are five kinds of repetition:

1. Simple regularity—like shapes and intervals, as is seen in a picket fence.

2. Alternation—repetition of two different elements, such as circle-rectangle, dark-light, big-small

3. Inversion—repetition in which position of the unit is reversed or turned upside down

4. Irregular recurrence—a chosen shape or motif reappears at unexpected or irregular intervals and perhaps varying sizes

5. Radiation—units fan out from a central point in symmetrical or asymmetrical manner.



Consciously placed images and objects in a composition to provide visual cues for the viewers’ eyes to travel across the surface.

Devices for in leading the eye along a 2-dimensional path include:

1. Line

2. Color

3. Rhythm (repetition)

4. Slight successive changes in position recording a path or flow of movement

5. Perspective

6. Sequential images (comic strip)

7. Actual movement

Contrast: A large difference between two things. Here there will be a contrast of values and textures.



Day 1: Introduction to project

Presentation/discussion of movement, rhythm, contrast and texture

Go over handout that explains the project

Examples and discussion of similar images

Question and clarification

Day 2-3: Students begin to collect lines of print as described in procedure

Day 4: Students begin to explore possible arrangements for their image

Day 5-8: Students work to complete their collage

Day 9: Students mount their collage according to class requirements

Day 10: Class discussion and critique. Students take notes to complete the self-evaluation and response as homework. These are due at the beginning of class the following day.


Instructional Strategies:

· Initial: Create a collage using text as texture rather than words

· Extending: Use for mixed media and/or relief - use text collage as a base - add more in relief.



· Wide variety of magazines, newspapers

· Mat board.

· Paper Cutter.

· X-acto Knives.

· White Glue.




The Elements of Typographic Style. - Author Robert Bringhurst writes about designing with the correct typeface; striving for rhythm, proportion, and harmony; choosing and combining type; designing pages, etc.

Collage Journeys: A Practical Guide to Creating Personal Artwork. - Collage can be more than just cutting and pasting. It can be a wonderful art form and a means of self-expression. Collage Journeys presents a series of innovative workshop assignments, each designed to relate the technique and format of a collage to its subject.



  1. Cut lines of print from magazines, newspapers, and/or print out text of your choosing. cut many long, medium, and short lines. Cut to obscure the sentence meanings. Include:

    1. Smallest print size

    2. Medium small size

    3. Medium size

    4. Medium large size

    5. Large single letter forms: keep number between 1-3

  2. You will have the choice of black or white mat board to glue your image to. The size and format will be up to you, but no side may be smaller than 8 inches.

  3. Decide on the type of repetition you want to use to create movement. You will have to experiment with this. Begin by placing 1-3 of the large letter forms on your paper

  4. Create a dense massing of letters which will begin to create a textured/rhythmic movement across the page.


  6. Don’t begin to glue until you have a definite direction. However, also realize that this in an additive process and you will be able to make change and alteration as the composition evolves.



Assessment Rubric

Student Name:

Class Period: B

Assignment: Text As Texture

Date Completed:

Place the score that shows how well you feel that you completed that criterion for the assignment




Needs Improvement

Rate Yourself

Teacher’s Rating

Criteria 1 – Preparation-
Wide assortment of print has been cut into a variety of widths and lengths
Experimentation with placement of text to create various rhythms and movement
Actively listened to introduction and explanation
Handouts are placed in student folder

10 - 9

8 - 7

6 – 5 – 4

3 - 2 - 1

Criteria 2 – Process-
Handout is referred to for instruction and clarification
Cut text is kept neatly in personal bin

10 - 9

8 - 7

6 – 5 – 4

3 - 2 - 1

Criteria 3 – Presentation-
Mounting completed using same measurement for top and sides/weighted bottom
Neat, clean & complete

10 - 9

8 - 7

6 – 5 – 4

3 - 2 - 1

Criteria 4 – Effort-
Took time to develop idea & complete project? (Didn’t rush.) Good use of class time?
Proper cleanup procedures

10 - 9

8 - 7

6 – 5 – 4

3 - 2 - 1

Criteria 5 – Craftsmanship –
Skillful use of the art tools & media?
Creation of a collage that includes dense massing of letters that create an obvious textured/rhythmic effect that also generates movement
When you look at this image it appears complete (there is nothing else you could add or take away to make it better)

10 - 9

8 - 7

6 – 5 – 4

3 - 2 - 1

Criteria 6 - Response-
Participation in class discussion/critique
Written response is thoughtfully and thoroughly completed and typed. See below.

10 - 9

8 - 7

6 – 5 – 4

3 - 2 - 1

Total: 60 (possible points)


Your Total

Teacher Total


Written Response

1. Describe your final image. What type of movement and rhythm did you attempt to achieve?

2. What were some of the experiments you attempted? Why did you decide on this particular design?

3. After looking at the other images, choose one or two that you think are particularly outstanding. Explain what you think makes them work well.

4. If you were to do this project again, would you do anything differently? If so, what?

5. What have you learned from this project?

On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being highest, please rate this project on the following:

Interesting challenge
Adequate instruction
Adequate time to complete
Proper tools/materials
Skill building
Creative possibilities

NOTE: Alternate Rubric Scoring could be 10 - 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 or less



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