Friday, January 15, 2010

A Way to Help in Haiti

In light of the recent and devastating effects on Haiti I'm posting a link to a site for an idea on how to help.
The site is called Haiti Houses The idea originated from two art teachers who live in Coconut Creek Florida and it's an art lesson on how to construct mini houses which you can sell in your school/district to raise money for organization that will send food, water, and aid to the Haitian people. My prayers go out to all those who have suffered from this horrendous tragedy.

Here's the site again:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2nd grade pattern rainforests

I adapted this lesson from 'Ms. Brown's-art website' who adapted it from Mr. G's art website. Yes imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :) In 2nd grade we studied patterns in nature and created our own designs. We discussed foreground and background and how things in the distance are smaller than things that are up close. We drew wavy trees complete with bushy tops (I compared them to clouds for my students) and added details like branches, birds, flowers, rocks, etc. The trees were where we put our patterns in marker and the background was where we painted with watercolor. I had them fold a 9x12 piece of newsprint to create four boxes where they practiced making designs using only closed shapes (many of them had a hard time understanding that an open shape is just a line and can't be colored in). Overall the lesson went well, however in hindsight, I would have had the students do a watercolor wash before even coloring the trees in, this will keep the compositions neater and make the little lesson a little less time consuming. Overall though, it was fun, and the students seemed to really like it!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Escher inspired Tessellations- 5th grade

I'm always trying to push my 5th graders above and beyond what's typically expected of them. Normally I've seen tessellations done in middle school but I wanted to try and do something with this grade because this is when the are introduced to tessellations in math. In addition to that, I'm the type of person who has to have a 'purpose' for something, even in collage I would say to myself "what do I need this for?" Or, "what am I going to do with this?" It's so important to provide contexts for learning things and to give students opportunities to understand that most of the things they learn have multiple applications other than just the one context their learning it in. So, I ask my 5th graders,why learn about tessellations? I give them this alternative to the normal math curriculum; they can be a great tool/technique, even style of art! I think they were surprised at this manifestation of math in art, especially because its so rare that they see an art/math connection. Here is the outcome. I had them work on 9x12 graph paper to help keep their tessellating shape even when tracing it. And yes, they made their own tessellating shapes, I didn't provide any for them.

The book above is a link to Its an over-sized book with a lot of great images of Escher's work.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Picasso Faces-5th Grade

Just finished this project with one of my 5th grade classes. They really loved it. We studied Picasso, cubism, showing two sides of the same object simultaneously-in this case a profile and front view of the face, organic and geometric shapes, and open and closed shapes. I found it to be a great way to teach some of the E's & P's of art. These are watercolor on 12x18" white paper and outlined with sharpie at the end. Enjoy!

Credit to Visual Arts Mississauga in Ontario. I found the lesson idea there. Here's a link to the site:
Visual Arts Mississauga

and here's a link to the gallery page:
Gallery Page