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

Beautiful Butterflies in Kindergarten

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 1:44 PM
 The other art teacher in our school finished out the end of last year with these beauties.  They're big too, 18x24".  I LOVE working big with kids...it gets them out of their comfort zone and makes the art seem so much more substantial, especially with the little ones like the kinders and first graders. The other art teacher shares my sentiment and the butterflies themselves were painted on 18x24" white paper and then cut and mounted on a colored background.

 The white paper was first folded in half and the students drew half their butterfly in pencil first. I taught a day or two of this lesson and when I had the kids do it I told them "no erasers, just draw and re-draw as needed". In my opinion, WAY too much time is wasted on kids compulsively erasing their "mistakes" waiting and trying to make their work "perfect".  Although, I will say that if your going to teach your students to work without erasers, that you should really discuss and model it,  it helps exponentially when you can coach them through it and explicitly teach why they don't really need to erase at all.  

After they drew half their butterflies they used black tempera and a medium-sized wide brush to paint over the half they drew, periodically folding and printing the wet paint onto the other side of the paper to create a symmetrical images. Lines that were faded or didn't quite touch were simply painted over.
 The drawing and painting was day 1. Day 2 and 3 consisted of painting the inside of the butterflies with colored paints.  Most kids, by June, have no problem matching the sides up pretty consistently.  It's AMAZING how much the little kindaroos grow and develop in one year.  Kindergarten teachers really do make magic happen. 

 Day 4 was cutting and gluing the butterflies onto a backing and then adding different embellishments like stickers, gems, and metallic confetti pieces. Some of the children were completely dedicated to keeping their designs symmetrical, even with the embellishments, and some just glue the sparkly stones on willy-nilly, either way the results are adorable. If I ever teach kindergarten again, this is a lesson I would totally "borrow". 


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