Sunday, May 3, 2015

Complementary Colored Giraffes with 1st & 2nd Grade

I love a good children's book before the start of a lesson or project but towards the end of the year, it gets pretty old reading the same story nine times! So, whenever I find a great online version of a story with animations I am pretty quick to show it to my students. Especially the words are also on the screen during it!

When I decided on giraffes for this lesson on complementary colors the book Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae, was the first thing that popped into my head! It is a fantastic book about a very unique giraffe and what a better way to start an artwork with very unique colored giraffe!

Day 1: Started off with the the digital version of Giraffes Can't Dance, the awesome version I found can be found on vimeo here.

After the story we got into how our giraffes were going to be very unique because of their colors and then I did a lesson a complementary colors. I found the best thing in teaching complementary colors is making real world connections. I give examples of where the pairs are being used like sports teams and movies. The obvious favorite was this picture that I stumbled upon...

Let me tell you that none of them forgot the purple and yellow pair of complementary colors.

After we wrapped up the lesson on complementary colors we did a draw along of the giraffe and I gave them a bunch of suggestions of how to make it their own..they drew in sharpie only and then painted the first color in their pair with watercolors for the body.

Day 2: Review of complementary colors and then onto the spots! We used tempera paints for the spots for a little more contrast. When their spots were complete they were instructed to create a border with a second pair of complementary colors in oil pastels.

My plans for next year are to give them an option of any animal with spots or stripes but they will have to do a sketch first to make sure the animal is clear. This is pretty ambitious idea for me for 1st and 2nd graders but i'm feeling hopeful for next year!

1 comment:

  1. I do a similar project every year with my kinders! We draw the giraffe with black oil pastel first, then add the spots using an oil pastel as well and coloring in dark. (i let them choose any shape they want so we get some interesting giraffe spots like bow shapes and letters) We finish by painting them with tempera cakes or watercolor. The oil pastel makes a great resist for the paint to keep the little ones from mixing colors too much.