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

Third Graders Are Outa This World!

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 2:45 PM
Third graders started the year off by taking a journey into outer space.  My student teacher used a guided imagery activity where you use sound effects and create a story while students sit with their eyes closed.  You use a lot of descriptive imagery and encourage the students to use their imagination and visualization to picture the story you tell them.  Afterwards you create a mind map with the class of the different things they "saw" while on their journey.  This is a great hook activity that generates many different ideas that the children can later use in their artwork.   To create the planets we used liquid watercolors, the foreground, or the planet that they were standing on, needed to be either warm or cool, but the paper that they would later trace, cut, and glue circles out of to create planets could have been painted any color they wanted.  For a variation on the lesson,  you can use paint scrapers and tempera paint to create texture and then use that paper instead of, or in combination with, watercolored paper.
For the background.  we gave students short, flat bristled brushes with slightly watered down white tempera paint and the students splattered stars onto their paper. It was messy but it looks great!  For a variation on the background, oil pastel stars work really well too, plus, if you use the oils you don't need to have everyone wash their hands at the end of class, which increases the work time a bit. 
Lastly, I took photo's of the kids, and they cut and traced a helmet template and then collaged their faces with the helmet onto the foreground.  I particularly like the details they added with oil pastels, they really helped to add personality and individuality to their pieces. 
(The faces are blurred to protect student privacy)