My 1st and 5th graders have just completed projects that explored arts originating in Africa. My curriculum calls for study of Egypt in 1st grade, and it took me a while to come up with a good project. Most of the projects I've seen out on the internet seem more geared to 3rd grade and up. But I was inspired by some pictures of Scarab jewelry I found on Artstor. 1st graders looked at Ancient Egyptian art including the pyramids, the Book of the Dead, scarab beetles, and hieroglyphics. I did a directed drawing for the first time and was amazed at both the success rate and the variety among the drawings that resulted:
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
One major thing I do as the art teacher is help supply decorations for the school concerts. I get along really well with the music teacher, who is also my mentor teacher, so I don't really mind helping her make the school concerts impressive events. I work with my art club students to design and produce backdrops for the concert. We have a cafetorium, so it's a bit of a challenge to transform it into a setting worthy of a concert. This Spring the students felt that the choir's music selections seemed mostly patriotic, so they wanted red, white, and blue! We projected the images onto canvas, sketched it out, and painted them over about 2 weeks.
In addition to the backdrop, I thought it would be fun to have some kind of slide show to illustrate one of the songs. I had my third graders each take a line from the lyrics of "The Ash Grove" and create an illustration that included the words so that we could make a "lyric video" for the concert. The kids whose images ended up in the slide show were so excited and proud!
Saturday, May 11, 2013
While from the look of my blog, it doesn't look like I've been doing much, behind the scenes in the classroom we've been crazy busy. My younger grades have been doing spring and nature themed projects, which have been taking a long time! Kindergarten explored butterflies and gardens in a printmaking project. We made caterpillar bodies with beads and pipe cleaners, which doubled as bubble wands!! Then we made marker monoprint butterfly wings so that they would be perfectly symmetrical. Kids folded their paper, drew an M and colored it in. Then I came around with a spray bottle to mist their papers and they transfer printed their drawing to the other side by pressing and rubbing. Depending on how much water and how much marker, some came out great, while others barely printed- so some kids opted to draw over the print again to make it bolder. To make our gardens we did bubble prints-which to me looked like hydrangea. Kids blew with straws into a cup of watercolor/bubble concentrate to make bubbles rise up above the cup edge, then laid their paper on top. It took some experimenting beforehand to find the right combo of container and technique to make it foolproof and flower-like! After printing, students added leaves, dirt, and bugs to their flowers with marker, and I came around to staple their layers of garden/wings/caterpillar into a 3-D picture. I'm not totally happy with the results- there's something about markers I find dissatisfying. Maybe they're too common, and don't seem art-class worthy?
The end of the school year draws near, and I'll only have about 3 more class sessions with each group. It's going by so fast!!