This is a variation of another elementary art standby-- Matisse Cutouts. The children love to learn about Matisse and why he turned to collage after years as a painter (great video set to Greg Percy's "From Matisse To You" here).
We talked about organic and geometric shapes and started cutting. Their initial collage was painted with white glue (not a mixute of glue and water-- that left ugly water stains all over their work).
|The collage before they traced and cut their hands out of it|
Then the kids traced both of their hands on their paper-- they traced the first with their dominant hand and an adult or friend did the other one. I tried to make sure that they traced 2 different hands, not the same one twice! They were cut and glued onto black and white paper. The last class was spent adding some extra shapes to the finished piece with encouragement to try "mirror symmetry" with different colors.