Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mixed Media Space Collages

4th graders created these mixed media collages by painting their own papers and cutting them into space shapes. We began by looking at actual photographs from the Mars Rover and talking about the different elements that we noticed in the Martian landscape. Then, I demonstrated several different watercolor techniques including: wax resist, salt, wet-on-wet, and dry brush. The students were given liquid watercolors and allowed to just play and experiment with these techniques on a sheet of white paper. While that paper was drying, we used watered-down white tempera to spray our "stars" on the black paper. For the next class, I passed out more Mars Rover photos and the kids were able to begin cutting their painted paper into abstract and geometric shapes to create their spacescape. I really emphasized overlapping for this one. Finally, I showed them how to use some vine charcoal to finish it off with shadows. We talked a lot about why the shadows all had to go on the same side of the shape and also how to use the charcoal to create textures on the mountains. I think these turned out really nice and the kids really enjoyed this one. Most of them picked this piece as the one they wanted to go in the end of year art show.

Woven Paintings with 1st Grade

First graders had done construction paper weaving in Kindergarten so they had the technique down. We took that a step further by creating two separate paintings and weaving them together. We had talked about concentric circles during a previous lesson in which we studied the abstract art of Alma Woodsey Thomas. The students were tasked with creating one concentric circle painting in cool colors and one in warm colors. They could choose to do one, two, or three circles but they had to fill the entire paper with paint. When the paintings were dry, they used rulers to measure and cut one piece into a loom and the other piece into strips. I had coordinating construction paper ready to go for those who made a tragic misstep with the scissors. Luckily since they had done this before, that only happened once or twice. We mounted the finished weaving on black construction paper. I loved the final product!

4th Grade Honeybee Prints

My 4th graders did a printmaking project on painted paper this year. I thought the results were stunning but the project was a little confusing for some. We began by discussing the importance of bees. What is the job of the honeybee? What would happen if the bees became extinct? We watched a couple of videos that explained the perilous situation of the honeybee and the detrimental impact it is having on our environment. Then, students began to practice bees in their sketchbooks. I had several "how to" sheets for those that wanted to use them. On the same day they were sketching, they also were using ocatgonal templates to create a honeycomb pattern on a 8.5x11 sheet of white paper. The next class was used to paint the honeycomb using liquid watercolors. The liquid watercolors (as opposed to the cake palettes) produced such bright, vivid colors that contrasted nicely with the black ink. Students chose their best bee from their sketches to reproduce on scratchfoam and print on the painted paper. The results were lovely but I think next year, I may do this with 5th grade instead. Only about half of the 4th graders had really great results. Live and learn!


2nd Grade Robot Invasion!

My second graders spent the first day of this lesson discussing how robots are used in our society. Do we interact with robots daily? Do our parents? That kind of thing... Then, they were given a handout that had various robot parts for them to mix and match to come up with their own creation. They made a couple of robots  in their sketchbooks and then chose their best one to enlarge during the next class. We discussed at length the proper way to use markers. Students colored, then outlined in Sharpie, and cut out the robots. They created collaged backgrounds using aluminum foil on which we mounted the robots. My early finishers wrote short stories to tell me about the abilities of their robot and how he/she would change the lives of humans.This was one of my favorite projects this year and the kids loved them!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thiebaud-inspired Cupcakes

Kindergarteners were looking at the art work of Wayne Thiebaud for this collage lesson. We watched the beginning of this video on CBS Sunday Morning . Of course, the students loved his art work! We began by discussing geometric shapes and students used a trapezoid template to trace and cut their cupcake wrappers. They decorated the wrappers with all of the different types of lines that they had learned. We used secondary colors for our lines. During our second class, we glued the trapezoids down to a background and also added the "frosting". The students got to pick if they wanted chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry frosting. We tore the paper strips for the frosting, emphasizing going from smallest to largest. They were finished with a circle cherry and review of geometric shapes. This was one of my favorite projects so far this semester.

Friday, February 21, 2014

1st Grade- Beverly Buchanan Clay Houses

1st graders studied the sculptures of Georgia artist, Beverly Buchanan. Her sculptures and photographs of poor, Southern sharecroppers' homes sparked our conversation about what the word "home" means to us. The students used small pieces of clay to create triangles and squares that were attached using scoring and slip. The students created textures on the surface. After the houses were bisque fired, the kids colored  them with oil pastel. Then, they gave it a surface wash of watered-down black tempera. I sponged it off a bit for them so the textures would show up and then we added a coat of glossy mod podge. I also tied a piece of twine through the hole for them. I just think these are so sweet!

Kinder- Van Gogh Ceramic Stars

Kindergarteners made these adorable stars just before our holiday break. We looked at "The Starry Night" and talked about lines and texture. We used a star shaped cookie cutter to cut them out of a slab of clay after the students had created textures with a variety of tools. Old marker caps were a big hit! After the stars were bisque fired, they were painted with tempera. I added a coat of glossy mod podge for protection and also tied a piece of twine through the hole for them. They were so excited to take these home. It was great!