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

Silly Wassily Kandinsky in First Grade

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 6:28 PM
Finally, the first round of projects from all my grades are coming to a close!  This week my first graders finished their Kandinsky inspired abstract shape and line composition.  My amazing student teacher created this lesson and the results came out fantastic.  Here's how the lesson broke down:

Day 1- We used a PowerPoint to examine and discuss the artwork below.  Particular attention was paid to line, shape, and color.
  Then, the students viewed a few slides on Kandinsky's life.  After that my student teacher demonstrated how to use water,  liquid watercolors, and sponge brushes on 16x20" sized watercolor paper to create a wash for the background. 
 We gave the students yellow first, and then added red, green, blue, and purple after that.  We encouraged them to paint large flat areas of color with a little overlapping here and there in order to get bold bright backgrounds. While painting the children listened to classical music, much like Kandinsky did while he worked.
Day 2-3 During sessions 2 and 3 students worked on cutting and gluing their shapes.  Students were challenged to make 3-5 of each of the following shapes: large circles (by tracing large plastic lids) small circles (by tracing small plastic lids), triangles, and squares or rectangles.  My student teacher and I needed to reinforce how to trace the circles and how to hold a scissors, always "thumbs-up" for the students, as some needed some extra support with it.  
 Day 4-5- These 2 sessions were devoted to line.  Students used the Smartboard to draw a variety of line types that included zig-zag, diagonal, horizontal, vertical, and dotted.  They then used this review to create different types of lines using 1/2" strips of black construction paper and string.  

 Day 6- On the last day the students shared their ideas as to why Kandinsky included checkerboard-like patterns in much of his art.  Some of their responses included: " because he played the piano and the black and white checkerboard reminded him of the keys",  "because he liked patterns", "because the checkerboard has squares in it and he liked shapes".  First grade is so cute! I particularly liked the piano answer! After sharing their thoughts they created their own checkerboard pattern on a 4x4" piece of white paper and then cut the paper into a trapezoid to make it a little more interesting.  Students then erased any pencil marks that were showing and spot checked any pieces that needed to be re-glued. 



These are fabulous! Your students did an awesome job! I love the idea of using the sponge brushes with the liquid watercolors! I have a bunch and I'm going to give them a try! Thanks for sharing this great project! :)

Thanks so much, the kids really had fun with it!