Thursday, November 29, 2012

Welcome to the Jungle

In addition to the fabulous rainbow zebras, our second and third graders got a little taste of the jungle too. We looked at images of giraffes on the activboard, recognized shapes and colors, and became wonderful "art observers." I tell my students often, to be a great artist, you must be a good observer, looking closing at things to render what you see...
Looks like they are listening!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Add a Little Color to Your Life!

So... I'm watching Madagascar 3, with my little one and Marty appears.... one of the funniest things I've seen in a while. I think to myself, "WE HAVE TO MAKE RAINBOW ZEBRAS!"
I found a great lesson online ( as a inspiration and ran with it. The great thing about blogs, is it's a fantastic way to share ideas and "piggyback" on others' ideas.
My fourth and fifth graders started off by viewing images of zebras on the ActivBoard, being an "art observer" and breaking the animal down into shapes that could be easily drawn.
We drew our zebra, traced with sharpie marker and colored in with crayon. We finished our zebra by painting the background with watercolor.
and here they are!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Reflection and Perspective

So, for this lesson with my fourth and fifth graders, I decided it was time for some higher order thinking skills....the great part is, in art class, I rarely have to prompt the kids to use these skills... it naturally happens when looking at art.
To begin, we took a look at a photo of the Washington Monument.

Using this photo as inspiration, we discussed the monument...when it was built, who designed it, how big it was, why it looked like two different colors of white were used....
Then we discussed the reflecting pool in front of the monument and how reflecting pools show up time and time again in front of important memorials or monuments. Without hesitation, the students quickly figured out that there are two meanings of the word, "reflection." Using those HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS that were hear so much about in education, they analyzed and evaluated the meaning of the word, "reflection" and hypothesized that the artist may have used a refelcting pool in the design not just for the literal meaning of "creating a mirror image" of the monument, but also as a tool of "looking back, thinking about and remembering" why George Washington was important to our country. Wow.

The students also used persepctive to draw things the way they appear to the eye, making the trees "appear" to get smaller the farther away the are, and the reflecting "appear" to become more narrow as it nears the horizon.
But hey, perspective is another lesson all together...


Expressive Pumpkins

Well, these little doozies turned out a million times better than expected!
My kindergarten and first grade classes cut and glued paper into a collage to create pumpkins with expressive faces. One school had some extra time, so we made orange paper by blending red and yellow tissue paper together (SCIENCE=blending colors) and gluing it down to white construction paper. All parts of the pumpkins were cut by the kids themselves, using NO PATTERNS or pre-drawn shapes.
After we made our darling pumpkins, we practiced reciting the poem, "Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate" (LANGUAGE SKILLS!) using our pumpkins as a mask. We even made the poem a little more difficult by assigning parts to different groups of students.
My students did a wonderful job of making their pumpkins all look so very different by designing them with different expressions. Way to go my little ones!