3rd Grade- we used Kandinsky's concentric circles as inspiration to create these amazing circle weavings. I have the students plug the hole in the middle with a button for a couple of reasons. It's cute. Also, the center of the weaving is often filled with the most mistakes, since it's the beginning, and by the time we get to the edges, the kiddos are much better weavers. It's a nice way to finish it. I hot glued the weavings to mat board, and had the kids decorate the edges with colored sharpies. It allowed for some element of choice in a pretty regimented project.
4th Grade- Little more complicated. We looked at a variety of Kandinsky's landscapes from the more realistic to the mostly abstract, discussing how lines and colors can represent a feeling or an object. I played Vivaldi's 4 seasons, and students sketched lines to each seasonal song. From there, students created a circle, and divided it into 4 sections, and each section was to represent a season. I had them use cray-pas to color, and we attempted some blending with baby oil. This was hard. Some had a difficult time with the idea of blending. They wanted to just keep mixing the colors. Others just colored as usual and put oil on top. It proved to be a difficult concept that I'm going to have to keep working on. But, in the end, there were some really great attempts. Abstract was also a hard concept to teach to the students, I acknowledged that our brains naturally want to "file" everything we see into a definite category; we want to know what something is. And, we just kept trying and adapting.