Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Greek Vases: Scratch Art

After seeing this once or twice on some other sites, HERE and HERE, I decided to give it a try myself. 

On the first day 2nd graders were introduced to greek history, greek pots, and the terminology used to describe the major elements of a pot (mouth, neck, belly, and foot). We then reviewed warm vs. cool colors and talked about the warn colors used in greek pots. 

I then introduced them to symmetry. For this part I stand infront of the room to do a little symmetrical/asymmetrical dance. If I hit a symmetrical pose they put up one finger and if I hit an asymmetrical pose they put up two fingers.  (I have them join in if we have extra time at the end of a class and they love it!)  

Symmetrical. And no this is not me... But I should invest in a tie-dye unitard...

Asymmetrical... Thats more like it... but i do usually pick a pose I can hold

Once we have the basics down I have them fold a large piece of white paper in half, place a dot at the top and a dot near the bottom. They use their knowledge of the elements of a vase (mouth, neck, belly, and foot) to create a drawing along the fold. Once they have a vase idea on the paper they keep it folded and cut carefully. 

For the rest of class we begin coloring our vase in a thick waxy layer of warm colored crayons. 

Day Two: finish coloring with crayon and then paint over entire vase with black tempera using a flat foam brush to get an even coat. With the last minutes of class I review pattern and show them a couple shapes that repeat on greek pottery quite a bit. they them complete a pattern worksheet and come up with some designs and pictures they want to scratch into their vase. 

Day 3: Scratch day! Finally we got to what we had been waiting for! First I had them scratch three lines  about a half inch apart on the top of their page and again at the bottom. In those spaces they scratched their favorite patterns or designs. The belly of the pot was a space they could scratch in more freely. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Jump Rope for Heart": Abstract Paintings

The gym teacher at my school always has "Jump Rope for Heart" and "Hoops for Heart" in February to align with Valentine Day. We have put together a cross curricular lesson combining their gym activities and knowledge of heart related ailments with an abstract art lesson that is designed to adorn the bland gym walls! 

I was inspired to do this project not only as a cross curricular opportunity, but because our students have raided over 10,000 dollars for the American Heart Association!!! AMAZING! They blew their last years record out of the water!

We started with a black tempera that was watered down a bit so it would flow nicely over the paper. Start with five hearts (large), then create five circles in between the hearts to add more shapes, and then use a variety of lines to connect the hearts and circles together.

 On the second day we used colored tempera to fill in our black shapes. I used my premixed paint cups for this. Each table got five colors on a tray, then about every ten minutes I switched the colors from table to table so there could be more variety. 

On the final day we used oil pastels to clean up black outlines and add a variety of lines, outlines, and patterns. I'll post a picture of the gym once they are hung up! yay!

"It Takes Heart to be a Hero!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Frank Big Bear

I have done this lesson for a couple years now, probably four times in total at different schools, and every time the results are just stunning. 

We discuss facial proportions, but break the rules like Picasso:)

We practice drawing eyes, mouths, ears, and a nose. (three sketches of each). We then circle our favorites and begin our drawing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Ugly Dolls"

Ugly Dolls are the best! The students loved making these in our after school program:) If you haven't heard of ugly dolls, they are these collectable cute little stuffed animals.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Georgia O'Keefe Pastel Drawings

After learning about Georgia O'Keefe, students used a glue resist technique to create these beautiful chalk pastel drawings! Absolutely gorgeous! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Macchia Bowls (inspired by Dale Chihuly)

Here are some 4th grade paper mache Macchia Bowls inspired by Dale Chihuly. We layered strips of newspaper with watered down elmers "glue all" over a plastic bowl which acted like a mold (place saran wrap over the plastic bowl so the dried bowls can be removed). Once the bowls were "hard like an arm cast" students cut a wavy edge along the top of the bowl. I had pre mixed paint "stored in medical urine cups... no really! they work amazing!" and they painted a design after a short planning period on a worksheet. The kids loved this project and couldn't wait to take them home. I think next time I'll have them paint a glossy coat of clear acrylic over the dry paint to make the bowls shine... hmmm, next time. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Geometric Klee Snow Castles

Snow castles are awesome! 
... so is Paul Klee!
Since there is no snow currently in our little Minnesota town (insert sad face here), we decided to create snow in our imaginations. Using a snow castel as a starting point, K-1 students used wooden geometric blocks to explore different ways geometric shapes could be used to build a castle. Some serious teamwork skills were encouraged, my happiest moments were when an entire table was working together, which many ended up doing. This period of class was purely play based. They became familiar with geo. shapes and created castle elements (walls, towers, flags, security, flying bats, you name it!)

There next challenge was to create geometric castels with cut white paper. Everyone started with a long strip of white printing paper. I gave some tips on how to make simple geometric shapes with just a couple snips (squares, rectangles, diamonds, circles, hexagons, triangles, and trapezoids). This step took up the rest of our first class period. 

On day 2 we reviewed how to cut paper geo. shapes using simple snips. They used the rest of class glueing on their shapes and drawing snowflakes, snowmen, and extra geometric shapes for extra pizzaz!