When my second graders came into my classroom I had them start at their table. I gave them a sheet of printer paper, asked them to fold it in half, and then write a #1 on the left side and a #2 on the right side. Then I asked my students to take 5 minutes and draw a picture of sunflowers in a vase. **This was BEFORE we looked at the Van Gogh still life PowerPoint.
Of course I got some pushback. "I don't know how to draw a vase." "I'm not good at drawing!"
But I just continued to insist that they only needed to try their best.
After five minutes'ish I had my students come and meet me on the carpet. We looked at my Van Gogh PowerPoint and began talking about what still lifes are. While looking at Van Gogh's artwork my students noticed that he did MANNNYYY paintings of sunflowers. I explained to them that even great artists don't always get it right on the first try- even THEY have to try something over and over again to get it just right!
We also talked about how Van Gogh didn't try to make all his flowers look perfect. Some of them were drooping down and some were facing different directions. Van Gogh made his artwork while LOOKING at flowers - not just thinking about them. That's how he was able to paint with so much detail.
Then I had my students go back to their table and placed a vase of fake sunflowers on it. Students were asked to look at EXACTLY what they saw and draw that.
I gotta say - I LOVE the transformation! The kids were so impressed with how much they could improve their drawings within like 30 minutes!
Kids who finished early were allowed to start adding some color for fun - hence the half colored pictures. :)
|This friend drew hers on the wrong side. But HOW amazing is this progress?!|
On the second day my kids came in, I had them draw another still life based on a vase of sunflowers on black paper. They quickly sketched out their image with pencil, then went in with oil pastels.