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

Ipads and art part 2

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

To finish out my first week with the ipads, I tried 2 new lessons ideas.  
Both lessons began by watching the Brainpop video on Georgia O'Keeffe.

The first lesson was based on the idea of illustrating emotions with line, shape, and color. I did this with my 4th graders. I began by giving the class a list of 6 emotions (frustrion, fear, anger, shyness, calm, happy) and had them use the Doodle Buddy app to illustrate their chosen emotion.  Then I had the students walk around with slips of paper that had emotions written on them and try to match the emotions use the drawings. 
As a class we sat together at my class carpet and chose a few to discuss the emotions that were assigned to the illustration.  We discussed what made the match a success or what could have been done to make a mismatch more accurately represent that chosen emotion.  The idea behind it was to illustrate that artists develop a visual vocabulary and use it to create works that represent more than just the simple shapes that make up the composition.  Georgia's artwork was modernist and represented both her imagination and real life.  The changes she did make to her real life objects represented her idea and were purposeful and meaningful.  The kids enjoyed it and really seemed to understand how certain lines/ shapes/and colors could really represent emotions. Sorry, I don't have pictures, my camera battery died that day!

The second lesson was also with 4th grade.  We watched the brainpop video and I then gave the kids a few minutes to explore the app wordfoto.  They explored the app using the stock photo that comes with the app.  Then I had them use brainstorm a list of facts about O'Keeffe based on what they learned from their first 2 projects and the video.  They used prints I had on hand at their tables to photograph an O'Keeffe image and then used the app to to add a 'word set' of 10 words from their brainstormed list.  The colors and effects can be altered to remain similar to the image or change completely. Below are the pictures from this activity:
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Gyotaku 2nd Grade

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This was a really easy year-ender.  I used 12x18" white paper, watered down blue tempera, oil pastels and rubbery fish with black tempera to make the prints.  This lesson took 2-3 40 minute sessions.  I didn't really get into the history or the culture behind gyotaku because of the time frame I had, but  the kids really loved the project.  In other classes I had the kids print their fish onto tracing paper and cut the fish and glue on but since this class missed a day due to a field trip, I had to have them print right onto their backgrounds which I normally wouldn't have done.  A few kids made mistakes printing and there's no room for error doing it right on the background.  Overall though the kids enjoyed it.
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Symmetrical Warm and Cool Compositions 3rd grade

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This was the last project my 3rd graders did this year. I intended it to be a quick 2 day project that reviewed warm and cool color families and symmetry.  It ended up taking 4 days (isn't that always the way of things!) but they did an amazing job!  I was a bit surprised at home much effort and detail they put in, especially the week before school ends for the summer. 

5th Grade Perspective Cities

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

To end the year I used this project that I originally saw on There's a Dragon in My Artroom.  I modified it to a colored pencil and watercolor paint lesson instead of tempera paint to make the setup and cleanup a little easier.  When there's only 2 weeks left to the school year, convenience is key.  We began the lesson by discussing perspective and the difference between shape/form and 2D/3D.  I had them chose a side to demonstrate a light source and color the buildings accordingly.  I encouraged students to add their own personal creative ideas into it to give it a more illustrative quality.  Not everyone finished, but those that did had some really cute results. 

Ipads in the Art Room

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

I got my class set of ipads on Thursday which is the second to last of my 2 remaining 6-day cycles.  These aren't my ipads to keep, they are loaner ipads I reserved and signed out...Best decision EVER.  The last two weeks of school are PERFECT for ipads in the artroom, especially because:
a) the kids are, tired, antsy, aching for summer break, and need something different to keep them engaged
b) setup and cleanup is super easy which frees up some time for me to get my room ready for the end of the year
c) its a great review tool to help go over all the things we've learned throughout the year
d) its a great time for me to experiment and try different things with them because this time of the year it's a little less hectic for me
e) My art room gets HOT with no air conditioning and this doesn't require me to be running around the room quite as much as switching and prepping for all different materials throughout the day.

But i digress.....getting back to the actual use of the ipads.  Thus far I have use them in 2 lessons.  The first lesson is a contour line drawing activity where students do 3 continuous contour line drawings of their sneaker.  The first drawing is 1 minute, the second is a 2 minute, and the last is a 5 minute. During the drawings there is no talking and at the end students walk around to view each others work.  Then as a class we sit together and look at a few to discuss.  We also discuss the importance of practice sketching and why and how continuous line drawings would be beneficial to do as artists. The apps I used were:
'Screen Chomp'


All of which are basic sketching/drawing apps with simple to use tools and a simple menu bar of options.  'Screen chomp' lets you record your drawing while you do it so students can view their own drawing or the drawings of others come to life after they've been completed.

The second lesson I've done is connected to the artist Arcimboldo.  We view and discuss his paintings and why an artist would want to create portraits like these instead of the traditional realistic portraits. For that lesson I used 'Faces iMake' which I highly recommend.  It's fun, engaging, interesting, and the variations are endless. 
I've got a few other lessons and apps I plan on trying out so I'll be updating with more ideas soon!
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4th Grade Experiments in Weaving

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It all started in August when I opened my box of art supplies only to find that instead of ordering the wide-notched chipboard looms I wanted, I order these wide-notched chipboard looms instead.  The main difference?  About 10 notches and 6".  The result? Miniature weavings!  Not a total loss, but not exactly what I had in mind when teaching my first weaving lesson either.  

I ended up trying the lesson 3 different ways.  The first, and least successful way I tried was on my first two classes, where I had the kids attempt to take the weaving off the loom and affix one end of the knotted threads to a Popsicle stick. .  Big mistake!! Because the weaving is so short it was difficult to tie off and as a result, many of them started to unravel! After finding that out (the hard way) I had my second and third classes leave the weaving on the loom as you see in the pictures below but add tassels and beads, not a huge mistake as the weavings stayed in tact but a HUGE time drain as how it took FOREVER for the kids to tie on tassels, string them with beads, and knot the ends.  I kept it real simple with my last 2 classes and had them keep the weavings 'as is' and just hot glued them to a piece of oak tag.  To add a little 'umph' to the project I had them do repousse sun/moons and then decorate a border. All in all not a total loss.  However this year I made SURE I order the correct size looms!

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Singing Fingers an Art, Music, ELA and Technology Collaboration

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What started out as a conversation with my music teacher co-worker ended up as a great collaborative lesson involving music, art, ela, and technology!

It all started out with the art singing fingers.  This is a great app where you use your fingers and your voice to drag colors across your tablet and based on the notes (octave?-I have no idea of the correct terminology!) you sing, the color changes as you drag your finger!  It's the cutest app ever!

So then our schools tech expert took 'screen shots' of the kids work (I guess off of the ipads camera roll) and printed out a class set for me.  I then had the kids work on 18"x24" white paper.  I used a half circle stencil from the main office and press printed a whole slew of tissue papers in various colors and had the kids recreate their digital work from an 8 1/2 x 11" printout into an actual artwork.  As a finishing touch I had them sponge paint 2 different colors around their collage.   I trimmed some of them down if there was empty white space.
Lastly their classroom teacher had each child write about either their experience using the app in music class or their experience recreating the artwork in my class.  She hung them up in her classroom for our annual 'Spring Walkthrough' which is like our schools Spring open-house evening.  Later this month our tech teacher will be posting an article and some accompnaying pictures in the schools newsletter of this great project.

I love collaborating!!!

1st grade woven sailboats

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

I ended the year in first grade by having the kids do some weaving. This lesson took about 3-4 days.

The first day I had the kids do simple weaving on a 9x12" paper 'loom', which was folded in half and cut into about 8 slits. I had strips of paper from a 12x18" paper cut into 1"x 12". I did a demonstration on my visualizer and showed the kids how to alternate the under/over and over/under pattern.  I did 1 or two lines and then on the third line, made some mistakes on my 3rd line and had the kids spot the mistakes.  Then the next 2 lines I had a student come up and do it.  This first day of practice was really helpful for when we created our sail looms.

On day 2 I cut a 12'x12" square and had them cut int in half diagonally. to create the sail.  We reviewed warm and cool colors and they chose one color group for the sail and one color group for an extra sheet of paper to paint the other color group (which I would later cut into 1" strips).

On day 3 I filled 3 spray bottles with yellow, magenta, and cyan paint and while the kids started weaving their sails I had them spray paint a background on white paper using the 3 colors as a sort of center. the background paper size was 22" x 16" 

For the fourth session students used paint scrapers to create the water on their background and then finished weaving

The 5th and last day was spent collaging the boat using fancy scrap papers.

These came out great and it really kept the kids engaged. 

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