Growing up in Canada, late Fall meant more than the anticipation of Halloween. It was the appearance of bright red poppies on the lapels of every citizen in our small town. The plastic and felt red poppy, offered to citizens for a small donation, became the symbol of honoring our fallen soldiers from the first world war.
Poppies were worn on our lapels, on the left side above our hearts. In school, we learned to recite from the heart, the poem made famous by Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John MacRae, In Flanders Field.
The poppy doesn’t hold as much significance on the west coast of the United States as it does in Canada, and yet, I still receive many requests from Canadian and Australian teachers asking for a poppy lesson.
I have two projects that I hope evoke a sense of remembrance for those who fought for our freedom. These Cut Out Poppies, and our Flanders Field Poppies art project. I hope they instill a sense of tradition and meaning to wars from our not so distant past.
You can find more information on the history of the poppy right here, and a copy of the poem that inspired the relationship between the poppy and the commonwealth holiday of Remembrance Day.
Cut Out Poppies
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
– 9″ x 12″ white paper
– Red and black crayon or oil pastel
– Opaque watercolor or cake tempera paints (you can use liquid tempera but drying time will be longer)
– Paper plate (around 4-6″) or any round template
– Scissors and glue stick
– Paint brush
– Black paper scraps
This project is a great collaborative approach to making poppies. I like this version of a cut-out poppy because it teaches children an important art concept: why paper curls.
Trace a circle using a circle template or paper plate. Use a red crayon or whatever drawing tool you have to trace the template onto white paper.
Make the petals as per the instructions. Cut out the poppy and cut the sides of each petal, being careful not to cut through the whole way.
Using cake paints (tempera or watercolor), paint the poppy red. If paint is light, repeat the painting step another time.
As the paint dries, the petals will curl. Cut out a small circle from black paper. Snip around the edge and glue inside the dry poppy.
Display around your classroom or home. Or, pin it to your left lapel.
I can’t wait to see your vibrant poppy display. Please tag me on Instagram @deepspacesparkle so I can share your pictures.
Written by Patty Palmer – CEO and Founder of Deep Space Sparkle
Great lessons, Patty! I would love to do these lessons with my students. Thanks so much!
Fantastic lessons, thank you for sharing these vibrantly wonderful ideas!
I love this lesson❣️🥰
There are soo FANTASTIC ideas!
What happens between step 1 and 2 in the cut out poppies project? Are we free-handing the petal shapes around the template’s circular centre?
Hi Matt! Trace a circle on white paper and draw a “plus sign”, then free hand the petal shape from the ends of the plus sign lines. You could describe the ends of the petals as “two bumps” between the lines. Then cut out and paint. Thanks for your clarifying question, Matt! Good luck with the lesson.