My first graders have been working on a texture and landscape project. First we did leaf rubbings, then leaf observational drawings, then a landscape background with a horizon line, and finally painted a tree to glue their leaves onto.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Yes, it's a hand, but it's NOT a hand turkey! My Kinders combined a bunch of different skills in this project. Painting lines instead of drawing them was a fun challenge.
Kindergarten amazes me in its range of skill levels. I have kids who paint, color, and cut skillfully, and others who have a hard time controlling paint brushes, crayons, scissors, and glue.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving! I'm tremendously grateful for all the wonderful children who walk through my door excited to try new things or get to work!
Friday, November 15, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
My second graders loved getting to use compass and rulers to draw shapes for their abstract drawing. We reviewed geometric and organic shapes and practiced drawing them. Then students were asked to use 4 geometric and 3 organic shapes to make a composition, allowing some to overlap, playing with scale, and making sure there were no empty areas leftover.
We held off using black pastels til the very end to prevent smudging. I asked kids to outline the shapes that they wanted to stand out to add emphasis. We compared emphasis in a picture with an exclamation point on a sentence. It was interesting to see what they chose to emphasize. For several students, before they handed it in as complete I held their picture back for them to see and check if anything was missing or needed more emphasis. I'm fascinated with how kids seem to have an intuitive sense of visual balance. They nearly always pointed out the same place I would have told them to add to. This project is a legacy from the former art teacher at the school. Why mess with a winner?
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Positive and negative space is a new concept for my 3rd graders. Inspired by a local cut paper artist, I thought this project would be a simple 1-2 class project. We first reviewed line quality and "Stole a line" from a series of images in a powerpoint (kids drew on whiteboards building a composition with lines they saw in the images). We practiced ruler skills and measured out 2 inch marks at the top and bottom of our papers, then connected the dots across the page with various types of line. So far so good.
But whoah! Was I not prepared for the low scissor skills of this group of 3rd graders. Did we never pick up a pair of scissors in 2nd grade???? Students had a real challenge following the lines they drew with the scissors to cut them out. Of course, some had drawn amazingly detailed, fussy lines that any adult might find a challenge to cut out. I even had some kids break down and nearly give up because they felt they weren't good with scissors. Magic art teacher to the rescue! There was a box of special scissors (loop scissors that all you have to do is squeeze ad they spring back open) that I NEVER pulled out last year, but they are wonderful for some of my special needs kids with OT issues. Of course, everyone wants special scissors...
It was perhaps not the most exciting project ever, but it brought to light some interesting skills issues. The challenge level was huge for some of my students- but maybe that's why this was a good lesson for them. It took some ids 3 entire 50 minute class periods to finish! Others did an amazing job of careful cutting, arranging, and gluing and finished in one and a half classes! Go figure.
With the odd rate of completion on this project I had a bunch of kids who needed a new activity. This being Halloween week, I let them have a "freebie"- a project I would not grade and that was just for fun that they could take home immediately. It was not REALLY just for fun though- it was a super extension of positive and negative space by creating stencils!
Kids cut out a "spooky shape" from scrap paper, placed it on black paper and brushed white or orange color stick from the center outwards. I have no chalk- it would have been easier I think. After stenciling they went back in and added details as well as a "spooky message".
Saturday, October 26, 2013
My Kindergartners have been learning about shapes and how they can go together to make pictures. We started off by reading "Pezzettino" by Leo Lionni about a small square who thinks he must be a missing piece of someone else. He goes to all his friends who do daring and wonderful things, but they are all complete. Finally Pezzettino trips and breaks into many tiny pieces and he realizes that he is complete too.
We introduced shapes using the mosaic blocks, and I gave kids a challenge to try to make a sun, a flower, a cat, and finally their own creature out of the shapes. I showed kids how to trace their shapes onto paper to keep their creature since they're not allowed to keep my blocks (oh the silence of 24 kinders tracing blocks!)
The next week we practiced coloring carefully by outlining each shape and coloring it in solid. I went around to each child to ask what their creature could do, and wrote their title on the page in sharpie using the naming style of Lionni. It's not a bunny, it's "One who hops". It's not a snake but "One who slithers".
The students who had clearly made creatures and colored well had more successful results with the tissue. For those who had more random shapes the background color addition jut seemed distracting. Oh well, it was an experiment I'd never tried before, and it was mostly a success.
We have lots more shape things happening in other grades. Our quarter is almost finished and I've got to get kids to finish projects this week!!