My group of 1st and 2nd graders created these collages using watercolor, oil and chalk pastels, construction paper and brown grocery bags. The first step was to create simple and bold leaf shapes on posterboard using a white oil pastel. A layer of watercolor on top would magically reveal their designs. This would be the first layer in creating our rain forest habitat for our South American jaguars. Next on a rectangle from a grocery bag the children drew their wild cats in a direct line drawing lesson. (I think the texture and neutral color make it a great base for a number of projects.) They then used chalk pastel to add color and black oil pastel to create spots.
Coming back to our backgrounds the children could add another layer of oil pastel leaves and plants. They then glued their cut jaguars to these bases. The last step was to add an extra layer of cut leaves of construction paper that they added texture and color to with oil pastels. I encouraged them to have the leaves go off the page to give the effect of the jaguars in the rain forest. This concept was still a little confusing to some of my young students. But I think they did a wonderful job with their layered pieces.