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Amy Shapley
Tina Moulton

Level: Junior, Middle School
Grades: 3-8 | Age: 8-11yrs | Written by: Amy Shapley
[Amy is an art teacher from Kansas City, Missouri]

Learn about positive and negative space. Students in grade 5 and up will enjoy this fun lesson that focuses on bugs as the primary subject matter.


Students will:


positive space, negative space, positive/negative reversal

What You Need:
What You Do:

  1. Draw a bug that fills a 5 1/2 inch square paper. Use plenty of shape details, no plain lines.
  2. Go over the drawing in marker. Trace on 18 x 18 inch square of white paper in a popcorn pattern.
  3. Fill in small bug drawing in a positive pattern. Color in some shapes black and leave some white.
  4. Cut out a geometric shape from a 6 inch piece of tag board.
  5. Trace shape on large square of "popcorned" (popcorning is my word for placing things randomly, and in lots of different directions) bugs, with at least one shape overlapping each bug.
  6. Color in the bugs on the large pattern with space reversal. Color all areas of the bug OUTSIDE the shapes the same as your positive pattern (the color pattern on the original 5 1/2 inch piece). All areas INSIDE the shape should be colored in the exact opposite.

More Information:

The Wonderful World of Insects
Everything you want to know about insects can be found at this website.

Recommended Books/Products:

Big Book of Bugs
by Theresa Greenaway
Larger than life photographs of creepy crawlies include locusts, caterpillars, beetles, flies, grasshoppers, ants, praying mantis, and more!

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild About Insects
by Kathy Ross, Sharon Lane Holm
Find all sorts of fun ideas in 48 page book.

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