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

Musings about the importance of art and art education

1st Grade Solar Systems

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 3:22 PM

In first grade students start to learn about planets in the solar system. I would have loved to do something 3D for it, but I don't have any 3D materials so I decided to go with chalk pastels on black paper. I've done a lesson like this before, but it was on 11x14" paper and this time I did it on 9x12" paper. I definately recommend the larger of the 2 sizes. Although the students had a good time doing this lesson I found the standard size to be too restrictive a space for such a fun and exploratory medium. I had them begin by using circle templates of various sizes. We discussed scale and the way objects are larger in the front and get smaller as they go back or recede, in space. I reviewed the acronym 'My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizza's to help them remember the planets order. I also showed them how to blend charcoal. Each planet had to have 3 colors in it. At least 1 planet had to be cropped, and they needed a minimum of 4 planets in their picture, with one of them being rendered realistically.

To tie in with the solar system lesson I read the students 'Postcards From Pluto' and had them create their own postcards. I gave the students who needed extra support sentence starters and/or a structured paragraph. I had them write "I went to __________. It was ___________. I saw _____________. See you back on Earth! Love/From/Your Friend/Sincerely ___________. This was the first grades first project of the year so I wasn't sure of their ability range. The students that were more autonomous were able to write their own paragraphs, but most needed some supports. All and all it went well. Best of all, they loved the medium, which I knew they would because anything messy is par for the course in the early childhood grades!