Monday, January 11, 2016

Printed Mosaic Tiles from Morocco

After our trip to Ghana, 2nd grade artists learned about Morocco, which is also in Africa. We learned that Morocco is in the northwestern corner of Africa and its official name is the Kingdom of Morocco. The southern part of Morocco is in the Sahara Desert, so it is very dry there. The main language spoken is Arabic.
We looked at examples of Moroccan mosaic tiles and noticed that the design on the tiles are made up of small shapes, form a pattern and are also symmetrical. Many students made a connection between the designs on the tiles to the mandalas we learned about from India. It is interesting to see that patterns can be found in art forms across different countries and cultures! We saw images of where the walls, floors and ceilings were all covered in tile. 
We learned that a mosaic is a picture made with small colored pieces of tile or stone. They use small tiles made from terra cotta, which is a kind of clay. The tiles are made into mosaics with different geometric shapes and patterns. They can be used to decorate walls, ceilings, floors, fountains and tables.
To make our own mosaics, we used cardboard and foam shapes. We arranged the foam shapes to form a design that showed pattern and symmetry and glued the foam shapes down. Some students started with a shape in the center and worked out, while others started with shapes in the corners and worked their way in towards the middle.
Once the tiles had dried, we used them to print with! With printmaking, you can make multiple prints of the same image or design. The mosaics became our printing plates, so we rolled out ink on top of the design using a brayer.  
Then students placed a piece of paper on top and pressed down. We gently lifted the paper off of the printing plate to reveal our prints. This was many students' first experience with printmaking!
When we finished printmaking, each student had three copies of their print. One of the prints was glued onto a larger mosaic print mural for each class and they got to keep the other two. Below are the mosaic print murals for each 2nd grade class, which should be on display soon!
Mosaic Prints Mural, Miss O'Leary's class
Mosaic Prints Mural, Mrs. McCarthy's class
Mosaic Prints Mural, Ms. McIsaac's class
Mosaic Prints Mural, Mrs. O'Connor's class
Mosaic Prints Mural, Mrs. Pearse's class


  1. Great handmade mosaic is my fav thing in Morocco. In all arabic countries you can find their own style of mosaic tiling.
    But the most i liked children paintings. I bet they were so happy with the result!

    1. Thank you for reading our blog and giving us feedback! The students were really proud of themselves :)