Monday, October 4, 2010


Hello there!  The purpose of this blog is to document the art lessons and activities that I present to children in a lovely little early childhood elementary school in New York.  I volunteer as the art teacher twice a week and visit grades K-2 in their classrooms (hence the blog name).  I thought this would be a great way to organize my art lessons and to share a bit of what I love to do.  Teaching art to young children has always been a dream of mine.  I hope that with my guidance the students will be able to visually represent their experiences, learn about various art forms and artists, and problem solve with fun materials like collage, paint, and clay!  I am always learning and trying to improve my lessons and instruction, so if you're a fellow art teacher please feel free to leave a comment!

The first week of classes was spent introducing myself, stating expectations, and introducing (or re-introducing for some students) the art material called oil pastels.  We discussed how an oil pastel is different from a crayon (oilier, softer, brighter color) and how we could use these qualities to blend/mix two colors together to create a new color (much like paint).  After this lesson I introduced the students to the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (only for First and Second grades though).

Line Exploration Drawing/Painting
We discussed a variety of lines that can be created using oil pastels.  After naming different lines (curly, wavy, zig-zag, etc.) I asked the students to first "draw" a line in the air using their pointer finger as a pretend drawing tool; then I asked them to draw a line on my demonstration paper.  It's very important to get the students involved in the art lesson, especially at such a young age when their attention spans are still developing.  After this lesson we explored watercolor by adding it to various areas of our line exploration drawings.  This was a great opportunity to introduce proper paint usage (make sure brush is wet before choosing a color, clean brush before changing colors, swiping excess water on the edge of the water cup, etc.). 
(Remember: A line is a dot that went for a walk!)

Geometric Shape Collage
The students and I read the book "Mouse Shapes" by Ellen Stoll Walsh (part of a great book series that teaches concepts).  I pre-cut various geometric shapes (circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, and ovals).  We discussed how we could select and arrange these shapes to represent different objects (much like what the three mice did in the book).  Although this lesson did not exercise their cutting skills (much too early for that) it did allow them to make independent decisions on what shapes to use and how to arrange them.  We used glue sticks to adhere the shapes onto a large 11x14 piece of paper.  One thing I would do differently though would be to cut up extra shapes just in case.  For my second Kindergarten class I needed a few more so I had to cut up some squares and triangles on the spot.  Always be prepared!
Tomorrow I'll go over what the First and Second Grades are doing.

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