ArtMuse67

Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Musings about the importance of art and art education

Calder Stabiles in 1st Grade

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I began this unit what feels like eons ago. Between February break and the 4 snow days and 1 delayed opening we've had this project seems endless.  Although still in-progress, I thought I'd share some examples of what my first graders have been doing.  The unit is breaking down like this:
Day 1- View a Calder stabile, discuss sculpture and balance in art and let the students "explore" the wood pieces to create balance in a sculpture. 
Day 2- View a Calder stabile and discuss, review balance and show the children how to use wood glue and brushes to glue their sculpture onto a 6x9" cardboard base.
Day 3- View a Calder stabile, discuss, and demo how to change colors when painting so as not to mix the primary colors.  Encourage the kids to paint the WHOLE sculpture and to be detectives so as not to forget/skip any unpainted wood spaces.
Day 4-View a Calder painting and compare it to a Calder sculpture. Demo how to draw from observation and give students a 14x16" piece of white paper and a pencil.  Show them how to draw their sculpture TO FILL THE PAPER and when done drawing, trace over with black paint
Day 5- Demo how to hold the brush, switch colors (review it) and have the kids paint their drawings from observing their sculptures.
Day 6- Unifinished/absent students finish up.  Read the book "Sandy's Circus"



So, as you can see from the pictures, we're not up to the painting portion of the unit just yet, as soon as we get there I'll post some more images. 

 




3rd Grade Hexagon Color Wheels

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These color wheels are about 17".  I was really worried the kids would have a hard time repeating their designs but they did a pretty great job with it.  Each student got a paper triangle and a matching carbon paper triangle.  I showed them how to take an 18" paper and fold it horizontally and vertically to find the center.  After that I showed them how to start tracing their paper triangle by centering the point on the center crease and rotating.  To create the design they need to draw 3 large simple shapes and 2-3 lines from edge to edge (no floating lines).  They then used the carbon paper to trace the design.  To color the "wheel" we discussed value and they used crayons and watercolor paints filling in their designs with light, medium, and dark values of the colors.  Here are a few finished examples:




Kinder Cool Penguins

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These darling penguins were taught by the other art teacher in our school.  She used step by step guided instruction to teach the kiddies how to draw and cut the shapes that make up the penguins.  To help add personality she gave them scrapbook paper to add embellishments. Lastly, she had the kids used cardboard and caps to print on some snowflakes and designs. Too cute!





5th Grade Pioneer Wagons

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When a fifth grade teacher in my building asked me to do a lesson on westward expansion I was a bit stumped as to what to do....I'm not that familiar with the unit and what exactly the students learn.  The teachers in my building are so strapped for time that unless we plan to do something collaboratively months in advance, I usually get what I call the "hit and run" which is basically when a teacher pops into my room and asks me either to teach a project on a specific topic or if I know of any lessons they could do on a specific topic in their classroom.  For instance, "hey, I was thinking of doing a lesson on Abe Lincoln, can you think of any projects you could do with the kids on it?"  Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind coming up with topics and projects, I like the challenge, I'm always happy to help, and I'm always glad that other teachers see me as a resource for them,  but it takes time to come up with resources and it's frustrating to "collaborate" on a topic when I have no idea what the classroom teachers are doing in their classrooms related to it.  Does this happen to you in your art room?? 

Nonetheless, I usually can rise to the occasion and this is just such an instance. After the request, I though of a lesson I saw on the blog Cassie Stephens that she had done with viking ships and thought it might be a good jumping off point for my wagons. So thank you Cassie for providing me with some inspiration!

Here's how the lesson wend down:
On the first day of the project I had the students sponge paint the top half of a 12x18" piece of blue construction paper and then had them dry brush and stipple paint two strips of 9 x 18" green papers, one light, one dark.  (FYI this is a crazy period in the art room!)  The second day I had the students paint a 12x18" piece of brown paper in two ways, To begin, they folded 1/3 of the paper to create a large shape and a small shape  and then painted it using brown, white, and beige paints with a brushes and paint scrapers.  The larger part was painted a different shade than the smaller part which would act as highlights for the wagon body later on during its assembly.  On the fourth day, students assembled their wagons, complete with hitch, buckets/barrels, and wagon wheels with spokes and axles.  To give the wagon cover an aged look the students used a 9x12" piece of white paper torn on three sides glued down and then painted over with coffee water. The wagon top pops out but after spending a week in the class folders, they got a bit squished (oops)...
 On the whole the lesson is a hectic one, with all the cutting, gluing, painting and such but I think it's worth it.  



Chihuly Macchia Part 2

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These are some of the macchia my second graders had done using Blick brand tempera paint and Modge Podge.  You can see the original post HeRe. 
My kiln is still broke :( so I ended up finishing this last class just using regular paint instead of glaze.  I like the glaze better because even with the Modge Podge, it just doesn't get as glossy.  I'll leave the final verdict up to you.



It's Snowing in the Art Room...Wait it's Snowing Everywhere!

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 How fitting that my second graders finished their fun snowmen and tomorrow NY is supposed to get hit yet again with a major snowstorm!  If there's a snow day tomorrow it'll be our 4th this year! I can't remember the last time that's happened...Anyways, I want to give credit for this lesson to the blog "What's Happening in the Art Room?".  When I was fishing around for a winter themed project some time ago I came across this one and thought it was adorable.  Turns out, it is!  These snowmen are soooo fun and spirited and they really capture the energy and personality of the children who made them.  Here's how the lesson went down:

The project took 3 days.  On day 1 we read the story "Snowmen All Year" (you could also read "Snowmen At Night") by Carolyn Buehner. Before I read the story I asked the students to pay particular attention to how Mark Buehner, the illustrator, created the snowmen.  After the story we created a class graphic organizer with all the students observations.  After that I used the Smartboard to show the students how they could draw their snowmen by zooming in on them.  They could do a diagonal composition, a side composition, upside down, or centered, but the image had to be large!  I told the students to use some of the ideas from our graphic organizer to add details to their snowmen. 


On day 2 I had the students use white oil pastels to create a resist design.  They then went over the oil with liquid watercolor and lots of water to create a fun and colorful wash.



On day 3 the kiddies used Mr. Sketch markers to color the details of their snowmen and lastly I referred back to the graphic organizer when we discussed the way Mark Buehner use color to emphasize the white of his snowmen.  We use 2 colors of chalk pastel side by side and then gently blended them around the perimeter of the snowmen. 

You know it just occurred to me that I should be saying "snowpeople" or at least snowmen and snow-women, lol! 
Oh well, either way, I just love these!

1st grade clay hands

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
I tied out making these hand-bowls with my first graders. My only complaint was that sometimes the edges got a little jagged on the hands, after glazing, this was mostly remedied, but if you try this lesson make sure to reinforce that after tracing the hand templates, they smooth out the edges before lifting it into the bowl.  I didn't have the kids trace their actual hands because they are too little and their bowls would be too tiny! I trace my hand and cut out about 15 oaktag templates.  Also when glazing make sure to tell the kiddies to glaze everything, no white spaces, otherwise the hands won't be as bright and vivid.  Overall they came out cute, I plan on posting more pictures as soon as my kiln is up and running again (the touch pad shorted out!)




2nd grade texture-scapes

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I had seen this lesson awhile ago and wanted to do it for some time.  I have a bunch of plastic texture plates for rubbing and being that between last year and this year my second graders have studied landscapes, cityscapes, and seascapes, I figured now was as good a time as any to have them try out this lesson.  I basically told them to draw either of the three "scapes" mentioned above using large simple shapes and then showed them how to use the side of a crayon to create a rubbing.  We discussed the difference between visual texture and physical texture and then I sent them on their way.  

I gave each table some scrap paper to test out the textures before they used them on their final piece as some textures transferred better than others on the white drawing paper.  Ideally, to get the clearest texture rubbings you'd you tissue paper but I was afraid making them create a whole landscape on tissue paper would end up with artwork that looked like the kids had put it through a shredder!





Dale Chihuly "glass" compositions

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These "glass" compositions were the first part to the macchia that second graders did based on the artwork of Dale Chihuly.  

 

For these I used cellophane sheets in red, yellow, and blue on clear 9x12" acetate sheets.  The only problem was that the cellophane doesn't stick to the acetate and so after the kids created their compositions all the pieces started falling off!!  As a result, I had to sandwich the cellophane in between to sheets of acetate and staple the edges like mad.  Lastly, the kids decorated white frames I ordered in packs of a dozen from Sax and I hung them where the light would hit them.  I had also done a bulletin board with them but it just isn't the same on white paper backing.