This exercise works best for kids aged ten and up. Gather old discarded magazines and newspapers, expired textbooks. The older and more tattered the better — thrift shops and estate sales are useful places to mine.
Create a word/image bank, equally generic and odd.
Tree child face ring moon hammer donkey motorcycle hat superhero dancer fire hydrant.
Maybe some letters. Exclamation points and questions mark are not bad, either.
Providing glue, scissors, construction paper, pens, and crayons, send students on a collage scavenger hunt. Tell them to try to “find” three of the items on the list in the assembled books and magazines. The search need not be literal. It might be difficult to find a donkey, for instance….the student might be better encouraged to cut out textures and colors that can be assembled into a donkey form, and draw in the missing elements. The three items should be assembled in a composition that tells a story. If all goes well, the story will be nonsensical. Students share their absurdist, scavenged stories at the end.
This exercise was contributed by Joanna Neborsky (http://www.joannaneborsky.com/).