FINALLY! I found something that my stubborn 4th graders are actually interested in. Interested enough to follow all of the steps, and spend a reasonable amount of time working towards a quality art project- Coats of Arms. I began by talking about the reasons for them, and how they'd changed over the years. We listed personality traits that we felt we had. And, I gave each student a folder with symbols/meanings that would have been typical in a traditional coat of arms. They designed it on paper, then transferred it to a Styrofoam tray, which we would use as our printing plate (I kept their paper designs for a later project). As they worked on their weaving this week, I called students back to print. (typically, I am fearless, and I set up printing stations, which allow all students to print together, but, this group has so many discipline issues, I did not feel it was safe, or in the best interest of the students) I had 6 (wow) ink colors available, since color also has meaning on a coat of arms. And, they could use 2-3 (although, some tried 4), as long as they remembered to switch brayers, and not mix up my inks. Each student had the chance to make 2 prints. I like to give the chance to make more than one print for a couple of reasons. 1st, printmaking is a fickle art, and does not always yield the results we desire. 2nd, I like for students to compare/analyze their prints next session, often choosing the best one for me to grade. Self- Critique is not an easy thing to teach at the elementary level, but, having them use some choice/preference seems a good way to approach this concept. My students had such a good time with this- My plan is to have them use markers to color their paper designs, and create a "key" which shows what their symbols and colors mean. I am hoping to ride the success of this project by including some dragon/castle drawings.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Friday, April 19, 2013
The 2nd graders and I are using food for inspiration this 9 weeks. It is part of their common core, and the 2nd grade classroom teachers were a bit hesitant about this theme. I was not. I have some really great art projects stored up regarding food- cause this art teacher loves a good snack. For this project, I had each student write a "Menu" which included their favorite food items. I then gave them each a paper plate, and we drew the food (practicing scale and proportion, along with reviewing "bird's eye view"). They colored the food with crayon, and used water colors to jazz up their plates. During another session, we used corrugated cardboard pieces to stamp black lines and create a pattern which would later serve as their place mat. On assembly day, we added silverware (which was wrapped in foil) cups, and napkins. They loved the variety of materials, and I loved the opportunity to review concepts from the year, along with seeing the personality in their plates. We tackled this project while waiting for our coil bowls to get fired- next week we'll glaze them.
Monday, April 15, 2013
This 9 weeks in the MNPS curriculum for 1st Grade Art starts off with an observational drawing. I have been attempting to incorporate some Common Core themes into my art lessons, to help the students better connect with what they are learning. In their classroom, Cinderella is one of the stories during this time. So, I brought in a bunch of shoes, and we tried drawing them. Couple of problems- I'm a girl, therefore, I wear girl shoes (and boy shoes are very expensive at Goodwill compared to girl shoes). Needless to say, the boys were none to happy with this. And, while the drawings were ok, they weren't really what I was hoping for. So, the next time the kids came to art, I had them draw one of their own shoes. This, they loved. Partly, because of the novelty of putting ones shoe on the desk, and partly, because they got to take off their shoe. Whatever the reason, I was really much happier with the drawings. We added the socks/legs this class session, and, in keeping with the Cinderella theme, we folded a "book". On the inside, they wrote their name. On the outside, they wrote (copied) "Who Fits This Shoe?" and then, with prompts, they wrote 3 clues about themselves, so that viewers can guess the shoe. One sentence started with "I have", one with "I am" and one with "I like". I was pleased with the results overall, and doing the leg also gave me a chance to review the concept of observational drawing, as we had to look at our legs, and find any moles, freckles, hairs, scabs, band-aids, etc, so that they could be added to the leg as another glue.
|Lovin' the band-aide|
|This 1st grader is not only a fashion plate, but has a great eye for detail when drawing.|
Monday, April 8, 2013
Spring has sprung here in Nashville, which means it's time for some fresh Spring projects. Much like Mr. E, I am kind of trying to avoid the traditional O'Keefe flower lesson (though, it is an old favorite). I find that my plastic bug collection has come in handy. Our Kindergarten students are learning about insects/bugs/nature-ish stuff in Science, and since I am trying to incorporate more common core into my lessons, I decided bugs were something we could have a lot of fun with. I handed each student a plastic bug as they walked in, and we talked about similarities and differences between species. We looked at the shapes/lines/colors that made up each bug, and then I demonstrated how to draw a much bigger bug on the paper. Here are some of the drawings my kiddos came up with- not too shabby! As we finished drawing, I gave out sharpies to trace. Students could use any color combination they wished, as long as they colored around the sharpie lines, not over them.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
|4th Grade- Cat Paintings and Clay Facades|
|3rd Grade- Word Art|
|Kindergarten-Birds on a Wire|
|2nd Grade- Bird Houses|
|1st Grade- Heart Weaving|
|Sign in, Summer Art Program brochures, and Artsonia Updates.|
|Cookies and punch- I brought in my nice plate and punch bowl-if I'm throwing a party, I try to do it right.|
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I showed my 3rd graders the famous "LOVE" print by Robert Indiana, as we were talking about lettering, and word art. We then generated a list of popular "Slang" terms that we use today- which also got us into a talk about texting shorthand. From there, I asked students to pick a word or term that was 4 letters or less. ( I promised them they'd appreciate my limiting them later). After learning about block lettering, each student created the letters they'd use to spell their term, and drew/colored patterns inside each one (side note- I learned that some students colored/designed the negative space of their block letters- not sure if this is a right brain vs left brain thing?) Anyway, after the designing was done, we took a break, and made our backgrounds using the simple tissue paper/starch collage method. An oldie, but a goodie. While the papers dried, we cut out our letters. Then, we arranged them and stuck them on the background. Now, some students were very quick, and able get their letters on the paper while it was still wet. We still needed glue, but I found that they glued flatter. The next step was to trace the letters with black string, for contrast. Finally the students wrote other words with the same meaning around the negative space left from their words. This project was done in many steps- it took a full day for the block letters/designs, another for the background/finishing of the letters, and still another for the yarn and the sharpie words. And, I did have them make a list of their words before putting them on the project, to reduce spelling issues. There was a moment in the middle of this that I wondered what we had gotten into, but in the end, the kids loved the graphic nature of the letters, and I loved the relevance to their everyday life. We had a great conversation about words we use with our friends vs words we use with our teachers, bosses, etc. I had hoped that they would divide the colors between the letters and the background with warm and cool colors- and we worked on it, but in the end, the marker temptation was too great, and they just could not limit their colors. I am hanging these for our upcoming Art Show on Thursday, and just love as the other grades walk by wondering why they never do cool projects like this.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
|Our first attempt (in my defense, not quite finished yet)|
|After his suggestion... ok, he's right.|