Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fundraiser Projects

Kindergarten - Pattern Fish

This is a project I would have done with Kindergarten students anyway, but figured it would make for lovely artworks for the Art to Remember fundraiser.  Students already had previous experience with lines, shapes, and patterns so this lesson was perfect in that it encompassed all three.  I begin all my lessons with an anecdote that relates to the topic, in this case I was browsing my local library and stumbled upon a book about fish.  Did you know that a group of fish is called a school?  That reminded me of all of us, because we're a group of people who like to learn new things...and so on and so forth lol.  We discussed all the geometric shapes we might use to draw a fish and for what parts (circle or oval for the body, triangles for the fins, circles for the eyes, etc.).  Because the paper used was so small (about 8 1/2 by 11) I pre-drew fairly large ovals in the center which ensured that every student would have a large fish (no tiny guppies!).  We used regular crayons to fill in our fish with patterns since oil pastels are a bit too bulky and tiny hands would have trouble making their intricate patterns.  A wash of blue watercolor for the ocean was added.  On the second day we added color to our fish (using only light colors to have our fish stand out against the blue).  I stumbled upon paint markers which I thought the kids would enjoy.  I demonstrated how to use the markers to add "bubbles" for our fish; the kids really seemed to enjoy that.  I think their work came out great!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wild Things!

Here are some photos of the Wild Things project from a few week ago.  I've seen this project done a variety of ways so I can't really attribute it to one specific source...but what I liked about it was that it reviewed vocabulary (geometric shapes, lines), allowed students to practice/reinforce their motor skills (drawing, cutting, gluing), and incorporated a literacy component (read-aloud).  I'm looking forward to writing more art lessons based on childrens' books!
Day 1 - Read Wild Things book, discuss animal characteristics and geometric shapes that might be used to draw creatures.  Review lines that could be used to fill in creatures' bodies.
Day 2 - Review proper watercolor usage and paint creatures.
Day 3 - Carefully cut out creatures.  Demonstrate using Elmer's glue properly (dot, dot, dot method) and apply to the back of cut-out.  Use both hands to adhere cut-out to construction paper background.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Art Games

Here are some art games that I think would make a great incentive.  For example, if students behave and are productive after a few projects they may be rewarded with one day of art-centric activities (such as these games).

Block Buddies
Tangram Puzzles
Connectagons Happy Faces

Friday, November 5, 2010

Update and Photos

Wow there's so much to update!

Kindergarten - After working on textures (leaf rubbings) and patterns (AB pattern focusing on shapes and colors), we finally completed our color mixing sequence.  Each week for the past three weeks we've been focusing on two primary colors and mixing them to create a secondary color.  The students bring in their prior knowledge of objects of a particular color in the lesson, that way they become more invested in the learning.  I never tell the students what color they are going to create in the beginning of the lesson; the discovery is part of the learning (and children will retain that knowledge better when the experience is more meaningful, as opposed to me just telling them).  Next we are going to work on a fundraiser project that I would have done with the students regardless.  Since we explored shapes, patterns, and a bit of watercolor already we are going to create fish using all three experiences.  I need to search the library for a few books on tropical fish photography for inspiration.

First Grade - We completed our Wild Things!  I'm happy with how they turned out and I learned a lot about working with students with a wide range of abilities.  In the future I must make it a note to keep their creatures simple by focusing on geometric shapes (and less crazy appendages).  Some students' drawings were quite involved and had an abundance of arms and tails which made it harder for their little hands to cut around.  This just reinforced my belief that we could all use more and more cutting practice!  For our next lesson I would like to introduce Henri Matisse as the next Artist of the Month.  We will be talking about geometric versus positive shapes, creating painted paper, and drawing with scissors!  Ideally this lesson with take place over the course of three days.

Second Grade - We completed our Autumn Leaves drawing/painting lesson and many of them are on display in the hallway.  Next we are going to focus on a fundraiser project based on cat and dog portraits using oil pastels and watercolor.

Finished Autumn Leaves Bulletin Board
I love the contrast between the blue and red wall.  Really makes the artwork stand out!
A small display of Picasso Portraits at the end of the 3rd floor hallway.