Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winter Value Landscapes (2nd)

Teacher Sample
EQ: What is value?

Once again - inspired by a pin.

So to begin this project I discuss what "value" is with my second graders and we talk about the differences between a "tint" and a "shade".
Then I pass out the papers and sit a cup of blue paint on each table. Each pair of students is also given a styrofoam plate with their own puddle of white tempera on it. We begin by painting a white moon on our page. Then once that is added, students dip their brushes into the blue paint at their table and mix it into their white paint - the first concentric circle is painted around the moon with this color (a very light tint of blue). This process is repeated until the entire page is filled with blue concentric circles.
Snowmen at Night
The next day they come in, students are asked to draw a horizon line with a pencil on their page and paint the ground white (for snow). Once this is done, I talk with the kids about what a silhouette is and show them some examples. On a scrap piece of paper they practice painting a tree silhouette until they are happy with their ability. Then they paint a silhouette (or two .. or three) on their painting. These go on the drying racks.
Then the next day I have my students meet me on the carpet to read the book "Snowmen at Night" by Caralyn Buehner. The illustrations in this book are a beautiful example of how tints and shades can be used to create the illusion of depth in a 2D artwork (with the use of highlights and shadows). We also talk about using a light source (like the moon) to position highlights and shadows more accurately. Students then go back to their tables and use white paint to add the bodies of snowmen to their artwork. A streak of light blue is added for the shadow on the backside of the snowman.
Great extension book! :)
Finally on the last day of the project, students come in and add details to their landscapes using colored pencils. We also talk about how shadows can be drawn on the ground to make their artwork look even more realistic (some end up doing this.. others don't -- but either way is fine). :)
Once they finished, I had my students flip their papers over and do a little bit of creative writing about their winter landscapes on the back.
Overall I am SO happy with my 2nd graders artwork! Absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to do this project again next week with a new batch!











Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Aquarium Art (3rd)

Teachers Sample
(Although it's missing its fish) *Woops
EQ: How can the ocean inspire our art? What is an aquarium? 

Every good idea comes from a pin ;)

So for this one I started out with a PowerPoint which looked at a topographical map of Georgia. We talked about how Georgia has lots of lakes and rivers (which are freshwater) and has a coastline (saltwater) too! Then we examined the difference between the fish that lived in each. We found that the fish found in Georgia's freshwaters were often browns/greys/whites in color and that many of the fish found near Georgia's saltwater coast have more variety in color (blues, reds, etc). I asked students why they thought this was and surprisingly had a lot of students suggest it was because of the fish' need to camouflage in their environments to hide from predators! They're so smart! :D
So I set up a "river/ocean" in the front of my room (with blue butcher paper) and scattered out some color fish printouts that I cutout and attached paperclips to. Students "went fishing" (with a pole with a magnet attached to a fishing line) and selected a fish. Then they went back to their desks and drew their best version of their fish.. and then on the back of a paper plate wrote at least 3 facts about their fish (I had attached about a paragraph of info on the back of each fish).
Red Snapper
The next day we came in and I gave each student a piece of aluminum foil. Students cut a circle the same size as their plate out of the foil and glued it to the inside of their paper plates. A background was then added onto the foil with colored sharpies.
The next day we came in and students were given a second paper plate (this one was a little heavier than the first) and they painted the outer ring of their plate silver (for the outside of their aquarium). Then we put these on the drying rack and met on the carpet to read Eric Carle's "Mister Seahorse." This book has GREAT illustrations and really plays off the idea of fish camouflaging into their environments. Once we were done, students went back to their desks and were given a piece of transparency paper and were asked to draw something for their fish to camouflage behind.
The next day students came in and cut out the middle part of their silver-painted plate and hot-glued (okay.. well I hot-glued) their transparency papers (clear plastic) onto their silver rings.
Then students cut out their fish drawing and taped a piece of fishing line to the back of it. A bead was tied to the other end. Then it was time to assemble the aquariums! The fish was placed on the foil background with the string/bead hanging off the plate. The cover was then sat on top and stapled to the back plate (two staples on the top to trap the fishing line and one on the bottom). I left the sides of the aquarium un-stapled so if the students fish got stuck they could slide their hands in and readjust them.
If this project description sounds at all confusing - I apologize. There's a lot of steps and I didn't really want to bore you with every single detail.. but if you have an specific questions - feel free to ask! :)
 
Student Sample: Out in the open!
Student Sample: Hiding behind some coral!

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Student Sample: Love this one!!
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Hall Display

Hall Display

Art Club Jellyfish

I saw this lesson on Pinterest and I've been waiting to do this project with a group -- and I FINALLY got the opportunity to with my art club! It took us two 50-minute periods before school to complete.... and I LOVE them!

Day One: We start by wetting the backside of a paper bowl with water.. then use liquid watercolors to "tye-dye" the surface (wet-on-wet technique).
Next each student colors (or "scribble-scrabbles) a coffee filter with washable markers (I only gave them primary colors). Once finished I came around with a spray bottle of water and sprayed their filters (this causes the ink from the markers to spread and mix). These were moved onto a plastic lid and then placed on the drying rack.
Spiral cut example
Day Two: Students make a spiral cut on their coffee filters to make a long ribbon-like piece that will then be divided into four equal parts and used for the tentacles (taped onto the inner-sides of their bowl). Then I gave my kids a plain un-colored coffee filter - they cut this the same way (spiral cut). The white-ribbon is then cut into even pieces and taped into the inside-center of their bowl (for the oral arms).
We then used white paper to make eyes for their jellyfish and these are taped on as well.
Lastly, I came around and punctured two holes into the top of each bowl (with a sgraffito tool) and a piece of fishing line is strung through and tied (so the jellyfish can be hung up).




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Alligator Weaving (1st)

Teacher Sample
EQ: What is weaving?

So before I begin, I HAVE to give a shoutout to Lauren at Dali's Moustache for the inspiration for this lesson!
To begin this project, I review with my students what we learned about color mixing during their last rotation with me (primary color + primary color = secondary color).
Next we create a piece of painted paper (9"x12") using yellow and blue tempera paint (yellow+blue=green). Instead of mixing their colors on a palette they just paint each primary color directly on their paper and mix their paints that way. I LOVE the variety of greens they can make this way! :) Then using a variety of tools (plastic spoons, popsicle sticks, etc.), students "draw" patterns and shapes into their paint. Once completed we put these up on the drying rack.
After school I pulled out their painted papers and cut them down into strips (1.5"x6.5"). I also created looms for weaving using green construction paper (9" x 6.5"). When they came in the next day, we used our painted paper strips and weaved them into the looms. This became the body for our gators. :)
The next day we started adding more detail to our alligators by adding a head (cut from a 6"x4.5" piece of green construction paper), a tail (also from a 6"x4.5" piece of green construction paper), 4 feet, eyes, and teeth. Then on the final day, students had additional time to finish up adding all their details and had the opportunity to use gold paint to add some detail/decoration to their alligators.
Overall I think they turned out great! I was surprised however how difficult weaving was for some of my kids! Guess I need to practice this skill with my kinders so when they get to 1st grade they already have some basic experience with it.

UPDATE: With my next group of 1st graders I had them number the strips (the warp) on their looms 1-5. Then when I was demonstrating how to weave I explained their strip (the weft) needed to go "under 1, over 2, under 3, over 4, under 5".. then with the next strip we did the opposite - "over 1, under 2, over 3, under 4, over 5". THIS HELPED GREATLY! I had a MUCH higher success rate with my students this week since I added the numbering.

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Oil Pastel Solar Systems (5th)

EQ: How can I create the illusion of form with color?

For this lesson we began by comparing and contrasting an image of a circle and a sphere and talked about what attributes made the sphere look 3D compared to the circle. After talking, we decided that it was really the use of highlights and shadows on the sphere that made it look 3D. This led us into a conversation about value, tints, and shades as a tool to create the illusion of form. Then we transitioned to a PowerPoint I put together about the solar system and each of the individual planets (I included at least 3 cool facts about each - GREAT science integration).
Using compasses, students drew 8-9 (depending on whether they wanted to include Pluto or not) circles on a sheet of white paper for each of the planets - they tried to size them relative to one another. Then using oil pastels, they colored in the planets trying to use the correct colors for each planet and added white pastel to create highlights and black pastels on the opposite side to create shadows.
Once these were finished, my students cut out their planets and glued them to a 12"x18" piece of black construction paper. Then using construction paper crayons, students added a sun (the light source for the highlights) and any other details (planet rings, stars, rocket ships, etc.).
My 5th graders really liked this lesson! At this age they're really into outer space and I think having that element really engaged my students.

I think next time I teach this one I will give them a smaller sheet of white drawing paper for the planets so that when cut out they will fit better on the black paper.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Pop Art Plushies (5th)

Teacher Sample
EQ: What is pop art?

So this is a lesson that I have absolutely LOVED doing with my 5th graders (and they've just as equally loved doing with me)! :)

The first day of the lesson I showed my students a PowerPoint presentation about Pop Art. We talked about where it came from (born out of the resistance to Abstract Expressionism), what it was and what it was about (making art available to everyone and turning it into a commodity), and viewed artwork created by some of my favorite pop artists! We looked at Warhol's soup can prints/paintings and talked about mass production, looked at Lichtenstein's paintings and talked about advertisements and comic strips (and pop culture in general) being sources of inspiration, looked at Oldenburg's giant outdoor sculptures and his giant soft sculptures, and then finally looked at contemporary soft-sculpture artist - Heidi Kenney. If you've never heard of Kenney before.. you should definitely check her out! She creates the most adorable soft sculptures you've ever seen and the kids just absolutely love her work! Her designs were actually picked up by 'kidrobot' which now produces and sells her plushies, so you can find them in stores (I picked up one of her lime plushies at Barnes and Noble the other week)!
Artwork by Heidi Kenney
So with the idea of pop culture as a source of inspiration for our art in mind, I introduce the inspiration for our project -- soft sculpture ANGRY BIRDS!
What elementary-aged student doesn't LOVE this game?! :)
 I must admit - this project required a lot of prep-work from my end (like creating body part stencils for 4 different angry bird characters out of posterboard for each of my 6 tables).. but I think it was well worth it!
After the PowerPoint is over, I had my kids select which angry bird they wanted to create, and then use the body part stencils at their table to trace their bird (or pig) onto a sheet of drawing paper. These drawings were colored in with crayon (to help me identify what colors of felt I'd need to have pulled out the next class) and then were used throughout the project as a folder to hold all my student's felt body part pieces.
When my kids came in the next day, we pulled out our papers and I called each table up one-by-one to select a sheet of felt to be used for their body. Using the tracers, they traced a front and a back onto the felt with sharpies and then cut them out. Then using an assortment of felt scraps, they cut out their other body parts (such as head-feathers, eyes, eyebrows, beaks, etc). Some students even created their own additional pieces (such as bows for some lady angry birds)!
The sewing process was definitely confusing for some kids at first, but after a short time they all ended up picking it up quite successfully.
Student Samples Group Shot
I could go into extensive detail about my sewing process.. but I'll save you the reading. ;) Here's the gist: Using yarn needles (the big thick metal ones), we threaded our yarn and tied a knot at the end ("but not the way you tie your shoes - instead like how you tie a balloon"), and then began sewing. Instead of weaving in and out, I had students loop the yarn around and always enter the needle in through the same side (this stitch just ended up looking nicer in the end).
Once our front and back pieces were nearly completely stitched up, we stuffed them with a polyester filling, then finished sewing them up. Then using tacky glue, students glued on the rest of their pieces.

Both weeks I've taught this lesson it has taken me the full 5 days of class time (I see my kids Monday-Friday for each of their rotations).. so it's definitely an investment.. but as I've said - WELL worth it. The kids came in excited to get working everyday and they remained completely focused and on task everyday (which has been something I've found tricky with my 5th graders).

Student Sample Group Shot! :)
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Student Sample: No stencils used!

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