Friday, April 20, 2012

1st Grade Butterfly Art with Literacy

One of my first graders came in a few weeks ago and said, "OUR BUTTERFLY CAME OUT OF ITS PUPA!!!"  Apparently, they have a little butterfly that recently broke free and was drying its wings during art.  I remember seeing that myself as a kid, and it was truly fascinating!  

(At this time, I saw this lesson: Da Vinci's Wings - Fish)

I spoke with the teachers and got a list of their vocabulary words from their butterfly unit.  They traced 3 lines onto their paper and then added their favorite vocab words in oil pastel (on construction paper).  They then used a watered-down paint and covered the whole thing for a nice visual affect.

Then, they folded a white paper in half, and drew HALF of their butterfly with oil pastel.  We then folded it and burnished it so that it would make a "ghost" image on the other half.  They added designs and then finished it off with colors of their choosing.

We cut out the butterflies and then glued them to their background!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Roy G. Biv is a colorful man, and his name spells out the whole color spectrum!

THANK YOU  to the band "They Might Be Giants" and this video:  

It was close to St. Patricks day and rainbows were in the air (figuratively)
I talked with kids about prisms and how light actually "carries" our colors.  That's why when it's dark you can't see colors as well.  I found some cool gems in the old art closet and...BAM!  Awesome project!  Kids drew Roy G Biv in the corner and drew a wand.  I glued the gem to the end and then they added their rainbow with crayon+paint.  
So.  Cute.

2nd Grade Horse Paintings on Canvas

I was contacted by a parent who is coordinating many amazing community projects with our students.  I don't know how she orchestrates all of these inspiring projects that connect students to their community but I am so thankful for all of her efforts!  

I am very pleased to have been able to help the 2nd graders create their collaborative horse portrait paintings. They will be auctioned off this month and the money will go to a wonderful "faith based equine assisted therapy center committed to the restoration and transformation of people struggling with psychological, emotional and physical challenges."  I think it's great that these kids will be able to truly see and feel the positive impact their actions (and their artwork) can have on their community.  

We have worked a LONG time on these, and I am proud to share them with you all. I will also share with you the "hows" so you might adapt this into your own lessons. We used acrylic and canvas, but this would also work with paper/tempera :)

First, we practiced EYES in detail, including how a horse eye has an almost rounded rectangle pupil, and that to REALLY make it look real you need white reflection marks.  Then, students drew and painted their eyes on small pieces of watercolor paper.  This forced them to focus in on the details rather than get lost in the big picture.  It also adds a nice touch when you glue them to the canvas for a texture change.  

So, students made 2 eyes and one nose on the small paper.  We then had them glue them to the canvas and sketch in the face around it (There are 6 horses per canvas, give it a pop-art/folk-art feel!).  Finally - the paint!  We encouraged them to use vibrant colors and patterns for the horses, but all agreed that if we did the same with the backgrounds that it would get too overwhelming.  As much as I want students to do everything on their own and make their own artistic choices, we had time constraints and needed to be sure that the horses all flowed together as a larger piece, so I laid down a simple background for them.  I am happy to see that some added polka-dots and subtle designs in their backgrounds. 

They are looking so darling!  And to think, I was nervous about it in the beginning.  Ha!  All good things pull together eventually.