Wednesday, April 25, 2012

1st Grade Fields of Poppies

This lesson was inspired by wonderful art teacher Susan Tiedemann from South Brunswick, NJ. Take a look her 2nd graders working on their poppies!

First graders really were able to understand the concepts of background, middle ground, and foreground along with how to use size to make things look farther away and close up.

We started this lesson by working on the Smartboard. I used Notebook software to create a green field and poppies in a variety of sizes - tiny, small, medium, and large. Each student got to come up and pick a poppy and move it to a spot on the field that made sense to them. We worked as a group to decide if the poppy was put in an appropriate place. The students love interacting with the Smartboard.

After working on the Smartboard students painted green lines for our field on a 18x24 paper. The large size and big brushes excited them! We let these dry until next class.
Next class we reviewed background, middle ground, and foreground along with how size makes things look near and far. They worked on painting small, medium, and large poppies in their field. Once the poppies were painted they were able to dab tiny white and yellow flowers using a qtip.

To finish off our paintings students added some lines in the center of the flowers and some more green field lines using oil pastels.

See more of our field of poppies on Artsonia - Roosevelt  & Washington

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Birdbath Sculptures with Melted Glass Water

I saw this idea posted on smART Class blog a year or so ago and thought it would be a great project for 4th graders.

The original picture is from Mayco's project section on their website. It looked like it could be done using pinch pots - so we gave it a try!

It took us two(45min) class periods to create the sculpture. The first class we used two pinch pots to create the birdbath. Students added designs into the clay using various tools, shells, and found objects. 
 The next class we finished any designs on our sculptures and added a bird and put them out on a table for us to admire and let dry. The reactions of the other students in and out of the Art room - Oooo's and Aww's mixed with some jealousy - created an air of excitement that made the two classes working on these even more anxious to finish them.

After Spring Break our pots had been bisque fired and were ready to glaze! Students used a variety of colors of glazes on their clay pieces. We use low-fire clay and glazes at the elementary level in our district.
We dropped a couple of glass marble pieces into the middle of the piece after the glaze was applied. I had seen this done on other art teacher's blogs, but had never tried it. The students were excited to learn that they would be the first classes to try this. "You mean you've never done this before Mrs. G? How do you know it will work?"  I just shrugged my shoulders and said - "I guess we will find out!"

Here they are ready to go in the kiln for the glaze firing - 

I couldn't wait to take these out of the kiln!  Here are some of the finished pieces. I did notice some of the birdbaths with wider tops needed an extra marble or two, and the color choice of glaze did affect how the blue marbles looked when melted. So I will use this knowledge to guide my two other 4th grade classes who are about to glaze theirs.