Sunday, January 22, 2012

2nd grade cubism guitars in oil pastel

So, first of all, I need to give credit to this blog for this lesson:

This was done with 2nd graders!  I showed them images of Picasso's Blue Period, Rose Period and Cubism Period.  We talked about the differences between them and WHY would Picasso paint so "abstractly" when he was able to paint very realistically?  It was a fun discussion!

We used a guitar (though some students were inspired by Picasso's mandolin!) as our subject and began with drawing a guitar BIG on the paper.  I encouraged them to make the guitar go OFF the page (something difficult to get them to do sometimes).

We used white oil pastel for the guitars, then black for the geometric cubism-like background lines.  Finally, students decorated their art with oil pastels, music note collage and glitter.  The collage was a nice touch since we saw a couple Picasso pieces where it was used.

One class used grey paper and the other used brown.  In the past I have been very loose with how the kids approach their artwork, but this time I ONLY gave them white pastels to begin with, then ONLY black for the background...then I let them have at it.  Just those 2 restrictions in the beginning I think helped keep their work from getting too...cluttered?  Anyway, I am pleased and I think the kids were very proud :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Clay rattles with 5th grade - coming soon! Here's my tutorial...

I am nervously beginning 2 clay projects tomorrow with my 4th and 5th graders.  Clay was never my strong suit, and as a 1st year teacher I'm extra cautious and...anxious!

My 5th graders have to learn about Maria Martinez for their district tests.  She is an amazing potter - but the kids told me that they have made "TONS of pots in elementary school!", I wanted to jazz it up a bit and have them make a musical clay rattle instead!    Even though she's a potter, and even though Pueblo Indians aren't necessarily known for rattles,  I think we can draw from her technique of hand building as well as the beautiful pueblo designs that adorn her pieces.

I have a video to show them of her and her son working, but I think I will let them get the rattle done tomorrow and then the following week start with the video to keep the enthusiasm flowing.  The idea is that they will etch into their rattles to make designs that either connect with the shape of their rattle or with an aspect of nature that they appreciate.  Martinez and her husband repeatedly gave offerings to the earth when looking for clay and again when firing the clay.  They valued the land they worked from greatly and connected their designs with both nature and the unique shape of each vessel they created.

ANYWAY - for those of you who love free resources and tutorials, I have provided an example slide below, as well as the actual link where you can download a PDF of my tutorial!

Thanks, and wish me luck!

Click here to check out the PDF file of this tutorial at google docs!