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

1st grade Paul Klee 2d and 3D Fish

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 1:35 PM

I just finished a unit on Paul Klee with my first graders.  Both projects were based on the artwork The Golden Fish. 

The first project was a 2-dimensional one.  I had the kids begin with 12x12' white paper folding in half two times to create four rows.  The kids filled in each row with a different pattern in oil pastel and then painted watercolor over the top.  I was hoping the patterns would be a little more dynamic and a little less straightforward, but since I don't teach kindergarten, this was the first project I'd ever done with this group of children.and wasn't sure where they were at developmentally.

After that I used guided drawing at our class carpet to demonstrate how to draw a fish.  Each child got a whiteboard and dry erase marker and followed along with me.  When they felt comfortable enough, they returned to their seat and drew their fish on 9x12" white paper, and again, used oil pastel and then watercolor to fill it in.

The fish and patterned background alone didn't look like it was enough for me. You know when you look at the outcome of a project and it just doesn't look "done"?  That's what I was feeling, and so,  I used 18x18" construction paper, and created some fish stencils from oak tag using the dye cut machine we have on our main office.  The kids first traced the fish with a marker (no pencil), and could overlap or crop the fish as they saw fit. After that, they used chalk pastel to trace and then gently smudge the outline to give a decorative effect. Overall, the border really helped make the project look complete, and gave it some "oomph".

The second project were ceramic pinch pot fish.  I gave the kids large balls of clay and some how they wittled their fish down to the petite size you see below.  They still look adorable, but I kept saying to the kids, "it's o.k. you can use the whole piece of clay!" lol!

I used amaco"crystaltex glaze in Milky Way (the speckled dark blue) and Mayco ''Stroke & Coat" and 'Candy Apple Red, Dandelion, and Blue yonder.  I've also done a few other lessons on Klee:
4th grade Klee Heads

1st Grade Around the Fish

1st Grade Mixed Media Klee Trees

4th Grade Painted Klee Heads

3rd grade Sinbad the Sailor