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

1st Graders Around the Fish

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 2:24 PM
My first graders studied the Klee painting Small Rhythmic Landscape as inspiration for their first project of the  year. (See it by clicking here). Continuing with our study of Paul Klee and his life, we next viewed the painting Around the Fish

As part of our study we discussed symbolism and defined it as a picture of something that represents an idea, object, feeling, or place.  Students used an oval template to create a "plate" and then drew objects that symbolized things that helped to describe their interests and personalities.  I really tried to emphasize to the students that their oil pastels symbols should be neat and detailed, that way a viewer would be able to tell what the objects were.

For the fish I used rubber gyotaku fish I ordered over the summer.  The fish are a bit pricey but, if treated well, they last a LONG  time and most elementary aged children get a big kick out of making prints from them. 

In order to capture the texture of the rubber fish students used tempera paint and tracing paper.  The tracing paper worked really well. It was sturdy enough not tear from wet paint but flexible enough to press into all the nooks and crannies of the fish.  My first graders had a little trouble cutting the fish out after the paint had dried, so I made sure to explain that they should leave a little margin of space around the fish as they cut, in case the paper ripped.  Because the paper is semi-transparent, once it was glued to the plate the outer margin around the fish didn't really detract from the overall look of the piece. Here are some finished examples: