Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ice cream!

I introduced first graders, as a FIRST 1st grade project, to overlapping by reading Jack Prelutsky's poem "Bleezer's Ice Cream".  They loved this poem!

We talked about their favorite flavors, and then I demo-ed on the board.  We discussed the notion of pattern, and how you could very simply create the cone pattern by following the lines of the upside-down triangle shape one way, and then reversing the lines to follow the other way.  Overlapping lines made a diamond pattern!

I showed how you could draw one scoop overlapping another, and how you could illustrate that by erasing where the next scoop overlapped.  We also discussed the patterns you could create by making toppings. We drew in pencil, outlined in Sharpie, and painted the background in tempera cake.  Every one was amazing!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pop Art Cows!

Second grade students listened to the story "The Cow Who Wouldn't Come Down", by Paul Brett Johnson, and discussed the cows unexpected and expected behaviors.  This lead to a discussion of expected and unexpected cow colors, which is when I introduced pop art with Andy Warhol's brightly colored cows. 

We then followed a step-by-step approach to cow-ing that I found at the SmArt Teacher, and then modified for my purposes (i.e. my students modified!).

We drew in pencil, traced in black oil pastel, painted with tempera cakes, and then finally, with some classes, traced again (sloowly and carefully for a very bold outline) with black oil pastel.  I decided after all was said and done that I like them better with the final tracing, but they look fabulous either way!

Picasso Hands and Flowers.

I absolutely love Picasso's simple gesture drawings that he produced later in life, and I thought that second grade was an excellent age to focus on his "Hands Holding Flowers".

We talked about how a hand would look when holding something like flower stems, and drew a simple contour drawing of a hand in pencil, and then traced in sharpie.  Flower stems and blossoms were painted without any pencil planning.  Simple, and beautiful!

I saw a lot of projects that were nearly identical to this one so I apologize if it seems like I'm a non-credit-giving project theif, but I just can't remember from where I was originally inspired!

Blue Dog!

I got the original idea for a Blue Dog lesson for third graders from Deep Space Sparkle, although I have to say there were many, many inspiring George Rodrigue art lessons in the blog world that motivated me.

I first showed students a clip from CBS Sunday Morning that gave an excellent description of the life and art of George Rodrigue.  Then we referred directly to Rodrigue's website to see a variety of Blue Dogs (and Red Dogs, Pink Dogs, etc.).

I showed students step-by-step how to draw blue dog, starting with a circle for the head, a squiggle for the top of the snout, which then leads to a "wobbly vase shape" for the rest of the snout (which I also draw separately on the board to help them understand).  I do all of Blue Dog at once and then set them free.  I have found that Grade 3 is too advanced to follow me with each step, and they do a great job, as you can see from the photos!! They blow me away each year with how creative they are with accessories and settings (I tell them to keep accessories to 3 max, and settings SIMPLE).  I find that this is the project that parents tell me the most frequently that they frame.

Watercolor Pumpkins!

I found this fantastic third-grade pumpkin lesson on Painted Paper (I actually found it on Pinterest).  I introduced the project by talking about extreme pumpkin ideas.  I made a Powerpoint of some seriously incredible jack-o-lanterns, as well as of the some of the largest recorded pumpkins on record (the largest was over 1,800 pounds!).  I then showed them a video clip from National Geographic about Punkin Chunkin, which they loved.  We even looked at some photos of pumpkin field landscapes.

Next, we began in pencil by drawing a horizon line, with a setting sun.  Our tree (or trees; I told them no more than 2) started with kind of backwards parentheses like this:  )(, and then filled in with a curvy V shape to create the foundation for the branches, with lots of Y's added on.  My art room is on the third floor so I told the kids to look outside to see how high the branches reach (past our windows), because students have a tendency to make sort little branches.

We discussed how pumpkin lines do not go straight up and down like bars on a jail cell, but follow the natural curve of the pumpkin.  Students began in pencil with the pumpkins, but quickly moved on to doing them in Sharpie directly.  I always tell them that they will never notice one tiny mistake!  Students filled in their fields as much as possible.

We did the color in liquid watercolor (MY NEW FAVORITE MATERIAL!).  I encouraged them to experiment with the techniques of wet-on-wet, where they would drip one sky color on another to help with their sunsets.  Every resulting project was beautiful!!

Zentangle Hands!

I started off the year with fourth graders in a Zentangle frenzy.  Last year I did this project closer to the middle, but I got a new art room this year and there were no tables, so being the flexible art teaching acrobat that I am, haha, I decided that Sharpies and 80 lb. paper were enough materials for students sprawled on the floor (although I then went with Kindergarteners and paint, but more on that later).

I showed some Zentangle videos from youtube (kids love the betweed pattern, and printed out a packet of sample patterns.  I stressed the notion that "ANYTHING CAN BE A PATTERN".  I once had a student do each section in the repeated name of a NJ town.  If a student is stumped, I hint for them to think of things that they like (slices of pizza, baseballs).  Anything can be a pattern!!

I always encourage students to overlap hands and have hands or parts of hands going off the page.  This is a built-in extension because certain students (you know who they are!) will definitely say they are done after half a class session, and others will take 3 classes and still say they need more time.  

I will post more examples soon...