As part of a study about Japanese culture and the Children's Day Festival students use a Styrofoam board and washable paint to make 3 prints of a Japanese inspired carp, and then use the prints to create a balanced hanging of 3 koinobori windsocks.

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  • Crayola Washable Paint
  • Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") - 3 pieces per student
  • Crayola Washable No-Run Glue
  • Crayola Scissors
  • Tissue Paper - variety of colours
  • Ball Point Pen - 1 per student
  • Soft Paint Roller
  • Plastic Tray
  • Hole Punch
  • Light Weight String
  • Bamboo Skewers - 30.5 cm (12") long - 1 per student
  • Old Magazines
  • Newsprint or Newspaper
  • Scratch-Foam Boards or Styrofoam Trays - 15.2 cm x 22.9 cm (6" x 9") - 1 per student


Step 1
  1. Cut out the koinobori template. (Downloads - KoinoboriTemplate.pdf)
  2. Place the template on the Styrofoam.
  3. Use a ball point pen to trace around the template.
  4. Remove the template.
  5. Cut out the Styrofoam shape.
Step 2
  1. Fold the template in half long end to long end.
  2. View the folded paper with the crease at the bottom.
  3. Compare it to the image of the Japanese Windsock.
  4. Imagine the shape of the fish,
    - fin at the top;
    - tail at one end;
    - big open mouth at the other end.
  5. Open the paper.
  6. Divide the space into head, body and tail.
  7. Practice drawing eyes, scales and different patterns to decorate the fish.
Step 3
  1. Use your practice drawing as a guide.
  2. Draw into the Styrofoam shape using a ball point pen.
  3. Add scales, details and lines to create patterns.
  4. This is your printing plate.
Step 4
  1. Place the Styrofoam plate on a page of an open magazine.
  2. Pour some paint into a plastic tray.
  3. Gently roll the soft roller into the paint to cover the roller with paint.
  4. Roll the paint over the Styrofoam plate – this is calledinking the plate.
Step 5
  1. Place a piece of printing paper on a stack of newsprint.
  2. Gently lift the inked plate off the magazine page.
  3. Place the inked Styrofoam plate face down on the printing paper.
  4. Place a piece of newsprint on top of the inked plate.
  5. Rub your hands, or a printmaking brayer, over the newsprint that is covering the Styrofoam plate.
  6. Press hard as you rub your hands over the entire plate.
  7. This will transfer the paint to the paper.
Step 6
  1. Remove the newsprint.
  2. Gently lift the Styrofoam plate off the printing paper to see your print.
  3. Place it in a safe place to dry.
Step 7
  1. Cut out the print.
  2. Fold the fish in half long end to long end.
  3. Place the paper with the print side facing down.
  4. Glue strips of tissue paper to the end of the tail.
  5. Apply glue to the outer edge of half the fish.
  6. Do NOT put glue along the mouth end.
Step 8
  1. Press the sides together to glue them in place.
  2. Press the paper together at the head.
  3. Use a hole punch to punch a hole through both sides of the paper.
Step 9
  1. Cut a 12 cm piece of string for each fish.
  2. Thread the string through the holes on both sides of the fish.
  3. Tie the string together.
  4. Loop the string over the bamboo skewer.
  5. Space the fish out so they are balanced.
  6. Add a small drop of glue where the string and bamboo skewer meet to hold the string in place.
  • Subjects:

    • Language Arts,

    • Mathematics,

    • Social Studies,

    • Visual Arts

  • Grades:

    • Grade 1,

    • Grade 2,

    • Grade 3,

    • Grade 4,

    • Grade 5,

    • Grade 6

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