Start off by having kids create abstract art designs using the following process: Give each student a piece of construction paper and have them fold it over 2-3 times. Unfold the paper, put a blob of paint somewhere near the middle, then have them fold it up, rub it, and unfold it again. The paint will have smeared into a unique design. Repeat this process with a different color paint as many times as desired, until you end up with a unique creation. The finished product will look like ink blot patterns that resemble ?Roschart? tests. Be sure to have plenty of construction paper on hand, since kids will often want to do multiple pictures.
Once they’ve dried, collect about a dozen or two of the more unique ones. Label each one on the back with a unique letter or number. Then one at a time, show each picture to the class. Have each child write down the picture number on a separate piece of paper, along with what they see in this picture or what they think it resembles. Then move on to the next one and repeat this process until you’ve gone through them all. (You can also just have kids call out what they see, but since kids will tend to be influenced by each other’s perceptions, it won’t give you the same type of diversity.)
Now hold up each picture again and have kids tell everyone what they wrote down. Do some kids see the same thing? How many different answers are there for each picture? Is there something in particular that causes you to see things in this way? Be sure to emphasize that there are no right or wrong answers.
The goal of this activity is to help children see that everyone has their own unique way of perceiving the world, and everyone’s mind works just a little bit differently. You can also elaborate on +why+ we see the things we see, and how our perception is altered according to what we’re feeing. For example, if you’re thinking about how hungry you are, you might see food items in these random patterns. If you’re homesick, you’re likely to see images of home. If you’re angry, you’re more prone to see angry images.