Monday, November 21, 2011

A little less conversation and a little more abstraction.

A big goal for educators in Huntsville City Schools this year is to create Professional Learning Communities... basically, working together with our peers to collaborate and teach more effectively and efficiently.
This month, Mrs. Hefner, our music teacher, and I planned a lesson to coincide with each other. The 2nd and 3rd  grade classes are learning about Paul Klee, who was a musician and an artist.
Mrs. Hefner is teaching them about repetition and pattern in his artwork, and music, while I am teaching them about his abstraction of people.

here is an example of my third grade abstract people, based on Paul Klee's Grooms Arrival (above).

Little people making Klee's Little People

How is it kids get more talented and smarter the younger they are?
Check it out, gesture drawings (quick drawing capturing the energy and movement of the subject) inspired by Paul Klee's abstract people. The little ones especially loved "modeling" poses for their classmates.

and the real thing-- if you want to call it that--pretty awesome, right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gallery Greatness!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving break? In between football and turkey comas, throw in a little culture and swing by the Huntsville Museum of Art! Highlands and Blossomwood Schools are both featured in the Community Gallery on the ground level. We have 20 wonderful pieces of art by our very talented students hanging there right now!
Break the boredom of turkey sandwiches, grab a slice of pizza from Pan E Vino, ( I would suggest the Matisse Pizza) and take in a little art for the holidays.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Big Cats, Little Jungle

So.... this is one of those lessons I've had in the file cabinet for years, literally, and kept pulling it out each year and just never got around to it....
This year, I finally taught the lesson and I'm so glad I did!
The fourth and fifth graders loved making the 3-D triaramas, and making the leaves, vines and bushes "pop up." We viewed and discussed Henri Rousseau's jungle paintings and the student drew a big cat. The second part of the lesson involved cutting out the cat, and folding the triarama and adding the foliage.

Here's a couple of Rousseau's Jungles.

Story Quilts

"Yes, me, Cassie Louise Lightfoot, only eight years old and in the third grade and I CAN FLY."-Faith Ringgold's Tar Beach

My second and third graders made fantastic story quilts from construction paper and magazine scraps based on the book and artwork by Faith Ringgold. The wonderful book tells the story of a little girl who dreams of flying over New York City, and owning all that she can see. "Tar Beach" is their rooftop where their meet their neighbors and have picnics. Below is one of the sweet, imaginative story quilts by my students.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Watercolor Waterlilies

One of my favorite, no-fail lessons is the watercolor waterlilies based on Claude Monet's very popular series.
The students love to paint, but also think it's pretty fascinating how large some of the paintings are.... they can take up an entire ROOM!
While we can't work on that large of a scale, my Kindergarteners and First Graders always enjoy painting their very own waterlilies inspired by Monet.

If your child want to learn more about Claude Monet, check out these books:
Linnea in Monet's Garden, by Christine Bjork and Lena Anderson
Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists: Monet by Mike Venezia