Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tiger symmetry prints in 2nd grade

Asian art is a subject we explore each year in second grade - this year we started with one of the world's most beautiful and amazing creatures - the tiger! Several types of tigers live in Asia and many artists from this region show the beauty of the animal in their art. Here are some of the examples we viewed, and an illustration of the symmetrical nature of the tiger's face.


The symmetry lends itself well to a special type of monoprint, or single print, called symmetry printing - the artist paints on half the paper, and folds the other half over and rubs the top to transfer the paint, creating a mirror image.  Because the tempera dries quickly on the construction paper, we used a quick rhythm of painting just a few strokes and then printing - “paint a little, print a little.” The students followed me in a guided drawing of half the tiger face, as seen above, and then we began painting with orange, white and black. I love the way each tiger has a unique face and expression!



  1. What a great idea! I do a symmetry lesson every year with my 2nd graders and am always looking for new ways to teach the concept. I may need to use your lesson this year. thank you very much

  2. Love these! What order did you do the colors?

    1. We tried it a few different ways - If you do black first, it is best to make sure it is completely dry before moving on to the other colors. I think we did white, then orange, then black last here.

  3. As 2022 is year of the Tiger in the Chinese zodiac, this will be a perfect project! I plan on using it this month!

  4. love this. am going to try it with my 3rd graders!!


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