As a new teacher there are things I see almost every day that still surprise me (pretty sure it is the same for old teachers too)! When I saw the colored pencil skills of some of my 3rd and 4th grade students, I was taken back seeing them used so poorly! While I am a fan BIG FAN of crayons, and usually choose them over any other "basic level" art materials, I love the possibilities of colored pencils. It is pretty endless. SO, I needed to do a project where students could hone their skills with colored pencils and become better artists because of it. I instantly thought back to one of my favorite projects I did while teaching during my long-term sub job. I did the project with 2nd graders then, and was excited to see what my 3rd and 4th graders would do. As far as I know this is a project of my own creation (maybe a little influence from this via Pinterest), I called the project "Complete the Animals" and you can see why! Here are a few that I chose for the spring art show.
I CAN statement for the project: I CAN use colored pencils to the best of my ability by using blending.
Day 1: Intro to project. Because I had plenty of photographed examples of this project from my long-term job I tried something new at the start of this project. I showed some student examples and we talked about strengths and weakness in the pieces. Basically a critique, a very simple one. One of the focuses in that conversation was coloring. How neat was it? How many colors? Coloring in one direction or many? And, the other big focus was the setting of the animal. We talked about using the setting that was in the picture versus not using it, amount of details, etc. I loved the way it went. I think because it was work of students whom they didn't know at all, and not to mention 2nd grade instead of the same grades, it seemed like they were more comfortable discussing it. Here are two pieces we looked at.
Before they got started I demonstrated blending with colored pencils and what sitiations they might use it in. We also talked about other "higher level" skills like coloring certain directions in different places for different effects. They had to complete a few samples of blending before they could choose an animal. I previously clipped 60 or so pictures from the interent and printed them off in color 4x6 just on regular copy paper. I had enough variety that no one was heartbroken about the selections. The first direction was to cut off part of the animal (at least as wide as your finger) and attach the picture to the paper. Then it was up to them how they approached the rest of the drawing.
Day 2: Reminders about blending and good practice for using colored pencil and then workday. If the colored pencil work was finished they used sharpies to outline and matched best color possible since I don't have all the fancy colored sharpies. We skipped the sharpie on some depending on the style they colored in like this guy, sharpie would of really took away the beauty of those trees!
Day 3: Almost all students finished and did shape animal challenge if time remained.
|A little 3D action. Love that this student took the initiative to do this!|
|As my stragglers finish, we have been adding...|