Pathway: Print & Activism

Pathway for Years 5 & 6

Printing, Collaging, Drawing

Key Concepts:

  • That artists can use art as a way to express their opinions, using their skills to speak for sectors of society.

  • That artists acting as activists often use print because it allows them to duplicate and distribute their message.

  • That a carefully chosen image can be a powerful way to communicate as it is direct and crosses boundaries of language.

  • That through art as activism we can come together. 

In this pathway children are introduced to the idea that they can use art as a way of sharing their passions and interests with their peers and community. We start by introducing pupils to artists who are activists, and then we go on to help pupils identify and voice the things they care about as individuals. 

There is then a choice of projects: the class can either make posters or zines, using using collage, print and drawing.

Paper, Pen, Paint

Artists: Luba Lukova, Faith Ringgold, Shepard Fairey

If you use this resource in your setting, please tag us on social media: #InspiredBy @accessart (facebook, twitter) (instagram) and share the url. Thank you!

Arm Us With Brushes
Message to the World
Message to world
ages 9-11

A PDF of this pathway can be found here.

Teaching Notes

Curriculum Links

History: Look at the messaging from WW2 posters.

Science: Environmental changes, deforestation.

PSHE: Responsibility to the planet, Collaboration, Peer Discussion, Different Religions, Ethnic Identity.

I Can…

  • I have seen how artists use their skills to make art which speaks about things which matter, often on behalf of whole communities.

  • I have explored how I can find out what I care about, and find ways I might share my ideas with us.

  • I have seen how my classmates may have different things they care about, or share things we care about, but they are all valid.

  • I can create visuals and text which communicate my message.

  • I can use line, shape and colour to make my artwork.

  • I can use typography to make my messages stand out. 

  • I can combine different techniques such as print, collage and drawing.

  • I can reflect and articulate about my own artwork and artwork made by my classmates.

This pathway takes 6 weeks, with an hour per week. Shorten or lengthen the suggested pathway according to time and experience. Follow the stages in green for a shorter pathway or less complex journey.


Soft B pencils, handwriting pens, sharpies.

Option 1: Make a Poster – Wall paper samples, white acrylic paint, PVA glue.
(For the screen printing) – Masking tape, silk screen mesh, printing ink, printing medium, newsprint, cartridge paper or other printable surface, pen/pencil, craft knives (optional), masking tape, cardboard for palette and squeegee, bucket, A4 Acetate sheets and pva glue (optional).

Option 2: The Art of Zines – Large sheet of cartridge paper, collage papers, newspaper, PVA glue.


Pathway: Print & Activism

  • Aims of the Pathway

    This pathway introduces pupils to the idea that artists can use their skills, vision and creativity to speak on behalf of communities, changing the world for the better. 

  • Week 1: Introduction

    The Relationship Between Print & Activism

    We begin by introducing pupils to the idea that art can be used to express the opinions of artists, who in turn speak for sectors of society. Artists can be activists, and many artists choose print as a way to make their art, as it allows them to reproduce their artwork so that it can reach many people. 

    Choose one or more of the artists below to introduce to your class, depending on the project option you choose. 

  • Introduce an Artist Activist

    Luba Lukova

    Vimeo Screenshot

    Use free to access Talking Points: Luba Lukova to explore a designer who uses posters as a way to address injustice in the world. Use the questions at the bottom of the resource to help guide a discussion about the artists approach. 

  • Introduce an Artist Activist

    Faith Ringgold

    Faith Ringgold Youtube Screenshot

    Use free to access “Talking Points: Faith Ringgoldresource to explore an artist who makes painted quilts to communicate personal narratives, history and politics. Use the questions at the bottom of the resource to help guide a discussion about the artists approach.

  • Introduce an Artist Activist

    Kate DeCiccio

    Adobe- Art As Activism Vimeo Screenshot

    Use the free to access “Talking Points: Kate DeCiccio” to explore how posters can be used to communicate important messages within different communities.

  • Find Your Voice...

    What Do YOU Care About?

    Message to the World

    What do you care about? What is your message to the world? Sometimes it can be hard to find the right words, or be brave enough to say them outloud.

    The “Find Your Messageresource will help pupils to find their passion and their message, and enable them to communicate it in their own way. 

    Work in sketchbooks or on large sheets of paper. Work alone or in small groups of people you trust. 

    This activity will encourage children to start exploring who they really are, before they take their next steps to secondary school.

  • Week 2,3,4 & 5

    Find your focus

    Decide whether you would like to explore pupil voice by making posters or making zines, and follow the pathways below.  

  • Option 1

    Make a Poster

    This pathway shares how you can make a poster about something you care about. 

  • Look and Talk

    Shepard Fairey

    Introduce discussions about street art and activism in the classroom using free to access “Talking Points: Shepard Fairey“.

  • Make

    Create a Poster Inspired by Shepard Fairey

    Using masking tape to block out printable areas

    Use the “Creating a poster inspired by Shepard Fairey” resource. Children will begin by collaging their own canvas and go on to create their poster design, through stencil, collage or screen print.

  • Screen Print Hack

    Ink On Mesh by Paula Briggs

    If you decide that you’d like to revisit screen print with the children or they haven’t had the opportunity to screen print before, here is a video for our “Screen Print Hack” to support this facilitation. 

    Children can also use collage and stencilling as a way to create their posters.

  • Or...

  • Option 2:

    Make a Zine

    Use the following resources to inspire pupils to make a zine.

  • Introduce

    Talking Points: What is a Zine?

    The Activist Planners Vimeo Screenshot

    Use the free to access “Talking Points: What is a Zine?” to explore the purpose of Zines. 

  • Be Inspired

    The Art of Zines

    Zine by Stephanie Cubbin

    See how older pupils made zines about things they cared about in the “Art of Zines” resource.

  • Make

    Make a Simple Folded Sketchbook

    Making a simple folded sketchbook

    Use the “Simple Folded Sketchbook” resource as basis for your zine.

  • Collage

    Fill your Zine

    Children may want to begin their zines bystarting with magazine imagery.

    Supply children with a variety of magazine imagery which can be used to communicate their message.

    Invite children to modify their chosen imagery, by cutting, folding, sticking and juxtaposing whilst thinking about the composition of their zine pages. Images can be photocopied in black and white and drawn/painted over.

    Encourage experimentation and exploration of how best to communicate their message through text and word. 

  • Week 6

    Share, reflect, discuss

    Lemon and Peach Zine 2B Or Not 2B by Elsa and Sarah Hingley

    Time to see the work which has been made, talk about intention and outcome.

    Invite children to display the work in a clear space, and walk around the work as if they are in a gallery. Give the work the respect it deserves. Remind the children of their hardwork.

    Use the resource here to help you run a class “crit” to finish the project. 

See This Pathway Used In Schools

Year 6, Hill Top Primary Academy
Year 6, Hill Top Primary Academy
Year 6, Hill Top Primary Academy
Year 6, Hill Top Primary Academy
Year 6, Hill Top Primary Academy
Work produced by 12-14 year olds. Philippa McDonald of Creative Days
Work produced by 12-14 year olds. Philippa McDonald of Creative Days
Work produced by 12-14 year olds. Philippa McDonald of Creative Days
Work produced by 12-14 year olds. Philippa McDonald of Creative Days
Year 5 & 6, Al-Ashraf Primary School
Year 5 & 6, Al-Ashraf Primary School

If You Use AccessArt Resources... You might like to...

You May Also Like...