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Media Collages

Media Collages
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Students can use magazines to create media collages that make a statement.

By Andrea Mulder-Slater


  • Younger students will work on their cutting and pasting skills
  • All students will experiment with color combinations
  • Composition in design will be discussed
  • Older Students will have a look at the world around them as they begin to take a close look at print advertising and product packaging … what is the message? How is the message delivered? Why?

What You Need:

  • A piece of masonite (about 12″ x 12″) or heavy cardboard
  • Old magazines of all sorts (family, home, food, fashion, etc.)
  • Labels from boxes, bottles and cans (canned vegetable labels, chip bags, etc.)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Other found objects – advertising buttons, stickers, promo items etc. (optional)
  • Gesso or latex house paint and a paintbrush.
  • Sealer

What You Do:

  1. Have a discussion about advertising while looking through magazines.
  2. Ask questions like: What kinds of ads are the most effective? Which ads do you like the most and why? What colors appear most often in advertisements? How are different products shown in ads? What kinds of colors and shapes appear most often on food packaging? Why?
  3. Come up with as many questions as you can as you have a class discussion.
  4. For younger students, focus on colors and shapes … rather than having an in depth conversation about ads.
  5. Next, every student should have a look through magazines … paying special attention to the advertisements.
  6. Encourage each student to choose their favorite ads and place them on a pile on their table or desk.
  7. The same should be done with product packaging.
  8. Once each student has a pile of paper in front of them, they can then begin to cut out the parts that appeal to them the most.
  9. They can arrange these parts by color, shape, subject matter etc.
  10. To prepare your masonite or cardboard, cover with one layer of white latex house paint or gesso … this will help to prime the work space.
  11. Next, each student can arrange his/her images which they have collected and glue them onto the board to create a collage.
  12. When the collages are complete, they can be sealed with a thin coat of water based varathane.
  13. Set up the completed works and discuss what each child did. Why they chose the images they did. Why did they arrange the images the way they did? What does their collage represent etc.
  14. Younger students should be encouraged to discuss the colors, shapes and pictures they have found.
  15. Older students could write a brief essay describing what they learned about advertising and product packaging.


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