Tuesday, April 27, 2010

1st Grade Money!

1st graders are starting a new project. For this project they will be making and designing their own money. They start with a large sheet of paper. On this paper, we begin by drawing either ourselves or someone we would like to be on our money. Then, we create frames and borders around the rest of our money. We can make our money worth as much as we want. For this project we are learning about:

  • Symmetry

  • Balance

  • Border

  • Frame

  • Outline

  • Wash

  • Value

We are outlining with a black marker. Then, we will paint our money with watercolors using only one color. I know this will be difficult for first graders, but we are going to try our best.

Maud Lewis Cats

For probably one of their last projects, second graders are creating a painting / project that resembles work by Maud Lewis. Maud Lewis is a female artist from Canada. She created folk art with images of cats, cows, and boats. We are creating cat pictures. We are learning about:

  • Balance

  • Symmetry

  • Painting

  • Collage

  • Overlapping

First we paint our background one color, either yellow or green. Then, we dip our brush in purple to create our branches. Next, once our art is dry, we then use construction paper to add flower, leaves, and petal to our background. Then, we use oil pastels to draw our cats and add any additional details. I can't wait to see how these turn out!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring Flowers

Whitehouse Elementary has begun creating flowers for spring. In honor of Earth Day, we are using recycled plastic water bottles. We create them by cutting off the bottom and then cutting petal. We use tempera paint to create our different colors. I know that this is a popular lesson with a lot of art teachers and when the retail store Anthropology recently created these flowers for their window displays, I had to do it! It is a great lesson for 2nd grade and up to learn about conservation, how to paint, using colors in real life, and about form. So far these are turning out great! I'm not sure what I will do to put these all together. ....I am think about chicken wire and turning these into wreaths....

Here are the pics from Anthropology:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Discovering, Creating, Learning...

What a great first year I've had. I have learned so much about teaching, art, and children. Thank you Whitehouse Elementary and Chets Creek Elementary for an amazing first year.

Let me talk a little bit more about what my students are learning right now:

  • Kindergarten: Kindergarten is learning about creating self portraits. I am really trying to push them to use crayons the right way. Using crayons the right way involves pressing quite hard to achieve maximum color results, staying in the lines, and covering the entire shape so that there are no visible white spots. We are also learning about proportions. I have guided them to create a portrait the places objects in the right area. We are also discovering how we illustrate emotions. This is a project, but also an exercise for them. This is the first time that I have really pushed them about their coloring techniques. Some are taking it quite well, as others are struggling with the notion of "I'm DONE!". (Students are always quick to be done.)

  • 1st Grade: 1st graders are creating an abstract portrait. We are learning words such as abstract and visual texture. Students have a fairly easy time learning about texture, but have a more difficult time understanding the word "visual." We drew our abstract portrait first, used crayons to color it, then we are applying colored tissue all around our face. When you apply water to the colored tissue, the colors bleed together to create a different effect. In our previous project, students learned about warm and cool colors. For this project, students were challenged to recall their warm and cool colors and had to create their portrait using one or the other. We have had great success with student memory. Our muse for this project is Paul Klee.

  • 2nd Grade: 2nd graders are learning about architecture and balance. We have just started, but it has been difficult for them to learn the difference between balance and symmetry. Slowly we are understanding it though. They are designing their own buildings and landscapes. They are then tracing their drawings with crayon. Finally, these will be painted with watercolors. Giving students the freedom to design their own buildings is inspiring for them. I tend to give students K - 2 a lot of boundaries, but now that it is the end of the year, I want them to be a bit more free. After all...it is ART!

  • 3rd Grade: Third graders are going to start learning about masks from Mexico. Our inspiration is Day of the Dead masks. We will be learning how to manipulate paper to make it fold, bend, and curl. We will also be learning about culture, masks, exaggeration, and formal balance. We will also be drawing design and patters to fill our mask. The challenge for them is to not scribble, but to actually make small designs. They have a tendency to rush art. This is when the scribbling takes place.

That's it for now. Check back for more updates.