Thursday, July 23, 2015

Self Portraits with 1st Grade

Each year I do a self-portrait unit with each grade. For first grade this year we read the book A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon to inspire our portraits.

  Really an awesome book about individuality and being unique, slightly long but totally worth it.

 I found a great online version of the book via StoryLine Online. They have "celebrities" read different children's books and are usually very good quality. They also have a great version of "When Pigasso Met Mootisse". While the video was playing I was sitting up front holding my copy with the pictures showing the whole time.

After drawing their self portrait they had an option of painting and coloring themselves "normal" or with "a case of stripes". We used crayons for the skin sections and watercolors for the rest.

I am always amazed when some of the self-portraits look exactly like them. Future art talents budding through!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Kindergarten Talking Cows

When I stumbled upon this project via Pinterest I knew it was perfect for my Kindergarteners. One of my favorite things to explore with Kindergarteners is perspective. We do it in a pretty minimal sense, along the lines of "What would this look like REALLY up close?" but perspective nonetheless.

I Can Statement: I can talk about how things look different from different sides and close up.

Day 1: Read one of the most hilarious books I have ever read. I mean literally laughing out loud the first time I read it.

I knew starting the project I didn't want just black and white cows so I used the "uniqueness" of this cow to say that our cows were also going to be unique by being different colors.

Before we started any drawing I used this lucidpress document that I created to explore how cows can look really different from the front than the side and the nose can look HUGE when they are really close to you. After talking about these differences and watching the youtube video we did a draw along in sharpie only of the cows. While the draw along was happening I talked about different things they could do to make their cows look more unique and different from the other cows even before we added color.

Once the cows were drawn they chose whatever watercolors they wanted for their cow and we all used red tempera paint for the tongues of the cows.

Day 2: Started with another favorite book of mine....

Really great interactive book where you lift the mouths open of each animal and you see the inside of their mouth with their animal sound.

I used the idea of animal sounds and inspiration from our first book to add speech bubbles to the cows. It was a really fun discussion with the kids talking about what speech bubbles were, how they worked, and the kinds of things our cows could say. I love seeing their ideas unfold and build off others.

I had the speech bubbles pre-drawn on cardstock and after they wrote what their cow was saying and cut out the bubble, we glued a piece of cardboard under it to look like it was floating over the paper.

These were so funny hanging next to each other, it looked like they were all having one big conversation....

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Alternative Color Wheels

My goal this year with my 6th graders was to do more open ended projects in order for them to connect more to their art and to enjoy art more. This project was a really fun way to see them explore color and the color wheel and how they interpreted both...

Not sure where I developed this lesson from, probably the color wheel eyes and umbrellas floating around on Pinterest.

I Can Statement: I can create an alternative color wheel and use paint to mix secondary colors.

Day 1: I wanted to see how much information they retained throughout their elementary years of 3+ different art teachers, so I started with a blank color wheel and asked them to fill it out, no wrong answers, just telling me what they knew. After they were finished I played my FAVORITE color concept youtube video to "reveal the answers".

Then I asked them to go back and correct their answers and fill it in based on this color wheel which matched their blank one... 

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Once we revisited the basics, I posed the question "Does the color wheel have to be a circle?" This got all the gears turned and a ton of examples from the internet definitely answered the question that it certainly did not in fact have to be a plain jane circle... 

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The biggest requirement was that they mix the secondary colors and showed the six basic colors in an organized way that represented the color wheel... Then they got down to sketching!

Day 2: After a quick 1:1 with me and getting sketches approved they got to work.

Day 3-5: Lots of work time and artist statements once again (insert student groans).

I am so proud of the work they did on these, proud enough that I even took the time to hand write comments on each of the pieces (over 60!) It was worth the intense amount of hand pain!

I received an unbelievable amount of comments and praise from other staff and students and it was well deserved! 

The only issue that arose during the project was that some students lost sight about the project being about the color wheel and color concepts and were just "mixing paint". But, it was my first time with this lesson and I should have put more emphasis on that. It was just so exciting to watch them create!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Action Flower Extension!

After my second graders finished up this project, they kept busy with this mini drawing project that they took with them at the end of art that day....

The only instruction given was to make a flower come "alive" by making it do a human activity. They could keep them in the ground or in flower pots/vases and were allowed to use circle tracers if they wanted to. There was some excellent collaboration among peers by making their flowers interact with each other. They really got excited about this mini project!