Friday, December 23, 2011

1st Grade Clay Turtles with Habitats

1st grade students created a pinch pot clay turtle one art class. The next class - while the clay was drying and being fired- we discussed environments and habitats and drew a habitat for the turtle to be displayed on. The third class was spent glazing.

The habitats were done just using crayon or oil pastel.

One of my classes didn't have time to do the habitats because of missing a class. We may draw them before students take the turtles home.
This was a simple clay lesson to introduce these young artists to techniques to attach pieces of clay together and introduce the glazing process.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fish Printing (Gyotaku) with Kindergarten

A Lesson in Warm and Cool Colors

Last month I decided things needed to get a little fishy in the Art room! I had done Gyotaku (Japanese fish printing) with older students in years past and thought that my Kindergarten students would love this art form also.
I had two main things that I wanted to accomplish in this Fishy Unit. The first was to teach the students about warm and cool colors. The second was to introduce them to the artwork of Paul Klee. Klee is a target artist for Kindergarten students in my school district. My student teacher and I worked together to develop this fish unit.

The first day of our project, we discussed some things they thought of as warm or hot and things that were cool or cold. Students named things like fire, the sun, lava, and a stove for the warm/hot things and things like snow, water, rain, wind, and grass for the cool/cold things. We then looked at the color wheel and picked out the colors that were warm and cool.

After this warm/cool discussion we pulled out the watercolor paints and a 12x18 piece of newsprint. We told student that we were going to use the cool colors today in an underwater painting and then next art time they would begin printing a fish using the warm colors. We went through each cool color together and decided what kinds of things we could use those colors for in our painting. The blue made great water waves, the green created a variety of seaweed, and the violet was used to paint sea creatures.

The next class began the printing! I have six(yes 6!) Kindergarten classes this year between the three schools I teach at. They are not small classes either - so I knew that printing would take more than one class period. I felt it was better to have the majority of the students working on another artwork while we pulled 3-4 students at a time to a back table to do the fish printing.  The printing table was covered with newspaper and had 3-4 rubber fish, sponge rollers, warm color paint poured onto paper plates, and a small amount of black paint on a plate with a couple q-tips.  Each student picked a warm color to roll onto the fish then dotted the eye with a bit of black using the q-tip. Their painted paper was then placed, painted side down, onto the fish and they rubbed the fish for a minute or so. We reminded them to make sure they felt all the parts of the fish to transfer the paint. When they pulled the paper off and saw the fish a big smile covered their face!

The first printing day students worked on a color sheet that my student teacher created. One side had three fish that were to be colored with cool colors and the other side three fish to be colored with warm colors.
Most classes were able to get over half the students printed the first printing day - except for my 2 classes of 29 students each.
The next class we introduced Paul Klee to the students. 
His The Golden Fish Painting was shown to the students. 
We had a discussion about what they thought was going on in the picture and also examined the lines and colors. Warm and cool colors were again discussed. Students then spent the rest of the art time working on an oil pastel fish picture on black construction paper inspired by Klee's painting. While students did this project the rest of the students were able to print their fish.

Take a look at some of the finished fish prints!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Miro Inspired Geometric & Organic Shapes- Third Grade

I've had a wonderful student teacher, Kim Doubler, these last 8 weeks. I'm sad to say that tomorrow is her last day with me. She has done a great job and I know that there are students out there who will soon benefit from having her as their art teacher. She brings enthusiasm, caring, and great knowledge of her content area to the classroom. I have a feeling I'm going to be caught talking to myself in the next few weeks because I've gotten used to having another adult in the classroom to discuss ideas with!

As part of her student teaching, she had to create a unit that consisted of 2-3 lessons. She decided to target this unit to third grade students.

The first project in this unit was a Joan Miro inspired painting that reviewed geometric and organic shapes as well as primary and secondary colors.
Students were introduced to the artist and his works and discussed the difference between geometric and organic (or free-form) shapes. They drew shapes inspired by Miro's paintings. They were then instructed to paint in the shapes using watercolors. Students also reviewed the primary and secondary colors as Miss Doubler instructed the students to paint the shapes using the three primary colors and just one secondary color. They could repeat any of these colors but were limited to just those four colors.
Once the shapes were painted in the students used black paint to outline the shapes and add some extra lines for interest.

The results were great! There was quite a variety of compositions among the students. Some students attempted to use the shapes to create images of things while others simply enjoyed the randomness of placing shapes any way.

Great project from a great teacher - Good luck in all your endeavors Kim!
I will share the other two lessons in Kim's unit in posts to come.