Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Name Art - End of Year Activity

While first, second, and third graders were busy working on their Summer in a Jar for the end of the year, fourth through sixth were busy creating these awesome works of art. Like the jars, this could also be a great project at the start of the year to help learn or refresh names and get a visual assessment of their skill levels.

I wanted something for them to do that they could work very independently on so I could get students that were missing work caught up and work on cleaning the room for the summer (and my eventual exit from the district). Before they started working I showed them some different examples of name art (see below) and told them my expectations. Challenge yourself, use the whole page, do your best work, and do something different. They could use any "dry" medium. And could use their full name, nickname, part of their name, or initials.

This is a favorite way to end the year for me because most of them really walk away feeling proud of their art no matter what style they did or materials they used!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer in a Jar- End of Year Activity

I used this as a one or two day project at the end of the year for students to think about visual symbols of things they were possibly going to do over the summer. As the beginning of this school year fast approaches, I can see this being used as a start of the year activity for them to show what they actually did. It would be good for getting a quick visual assessment of where their skill levels are at.

Day 1: Started with talking about why people collect things and the kinds of things people collect. Then, we had a discussion about how we also "collect" memories and how we were going to show those memories with symbols. To practice this process, I said a variety of different activities someone could do over the summer and had them tell me a symbol for it. Before they actually started drawing I gave them the worksheet below to guide them in the brainstorming process. On one side they list the activity and on the other they write/draw how they are going to show it. The minimum number of things was seven and they were encouraged to do many more!

First graders only took one class on these while Second and Third had a second work day.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bugs Up Close with Kindergarten

This project was so fun to watch them create...watching their little fingers blend the flowers and listening to them dreaming up bugs was just awesome....

I Can Statements:
I Can talk about how things look bigger under a magnifying glass.
I Can draw flowers with more than two colors.

Day 1: Read them a story about a garden and bugs (cannot for the life of me remember which one). Then we watched the timelapse below of flowers growing, looked a pictures of flowers, and talked about all the colors they saw in each flower. After this chat I did a demo on the document camera of different ways to draw flowers with the oil pastels. They had to draw at least six flowers with two going off the page.

Day 2: Watched a YouTube video of bugs close up. Pretty freaky stuff. We talked about how and why things look the way they do under a magnifying glass. (DANG, I should've used real ones--that would have been awesome, next year!)

Then I gave them a piece of paper that matched the color flower they wanted to put their bug on and they drew a bug from either looking at the image below or they could make up a bug.

I gave them a piece of black paper that had a magnifying glass already traced on it to cut out and glue their bug on. These turned out pretty ridiculously cute.

This second day had a lot of time left so we did an extension of drawing a jar full of bugs interacting with the jar. I like the idea of this being a project next year...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Abstract Transparency Portraits with 6th Grade (2015)

This is officially my favorite project to do at the end of the year with 6th grade. They turn out amazing, and they all end up with a piece that they really enjoyed making and can be proud of.

 For more info on the breakdown check out my original post on the project. The only changes were no planning sheet, incorporating their name, and adding sharpies to the material possibilities....

Monday, August 10, 2015

Aztec "Sun Stones" with Kindergarten

I have "Sun Stones" in quotes for a pretty good reason. These don't look anything like Sun Stones but they sure had fun making them!

I stumbled across this post via Pinterest on Art Project Girl. I fell in love with the way they looked but never found a follow up on them so I had to imagine what came next!

I Can Statements:
I Can make a unique sun and face.
I Can learn about the Aztecs.

Day 1: Started with an online globe up on the screen when they came in the room. The Kindergarteners had just finished talking about earth and what globes and maps were so it was perfect timing. I asked them to tell me when they saw the United States and then when I spun it a second time, to tell me when they saw Mexico. They totally loved it. We started talking about Mexico, how far away it was, and how long it would take to get there if we walked. Too bad Kindergarteners don't really have a sense of time, it would have been more dramatic!

Then we started talking the Aztecs. Without getting into too many details about Gods and sacrifice, I showed them a picture of the Sun Stone and talked about how big it is and a little more history. I taped a line on the floor of the diameter of the stone and had them all stand on it to really impact them with how big the sucker is! After that, we started talking about our project and how we were going to make a sun that looked different than any picture of a sun they had ever seen. We practiced drawing suns in different ways with different lines and shapes and then I did a demo of painting them. They watched a little double dipping mixing fun and they were hooked!

Day 2: We continued our chat about things looking different than how we would normally draw them for the face on our suns. I had some kiddos come up to my document camera and draw smiley faces in different ways to help inspire and I did a few of my own. They each got their Sun back and a sharpie and drew a face. Then I blew their minds again by telling them we were going to be painting with cardboard and marker caps instead of brushes. I did a demo of creating patterns with both tools to make the rings around the face like the Sun Stone. A few got carried away with the cardboard and totally over did it but man did they have fun in the process.

These make me so happy!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Stylized Food Chains with 5th Grade

Final product wise, this might just have been my FAVORITE project this past school year. I am so unbelievably proud of the work these 5th graders did on these! I found this project here via Pinterest. Thanks a faithful attempt!

I Can Statements:
I Can talk about stylized art
I Can use the Library resource A-Z Animals Encyclopedia to research a food chain that includes 3 or more animals
I Can show a food chain mouth-in-mouth using stylized images of plants and animals

Day 1: Students came in with this image on the screen...

I asked them to figure out what they all had in common, eventually they ended up describing stylized without even knowing it (I love when that happens!) and I revealed the vocabulary of stylized. To better explain I showed them this awesome graphic I put together in lucidpress....

After a bit more discussion we had a "quiz" where I put up an image and they had to guess stylized or realistic. They did perfect. Then I showed them our inspiration image...

They just wrapped up a science unit about ecosystems and food chains so it was the perfect project to connect to the classroom. After explaining the I Cans and the how to do the research and navigate the site they were using for research, they grabbed laptops and got to work filling out the packet below. There was quite a bit of sketching involved but it really seemed to help them understand how to break down their animals and plants.

Day 2: After I approved their sketches they got to work! They had an option to draw and color with colored pencil or to collage with paper.

We took about 4 class periods total on this, 1 for intro and research, and the rest were workdays. Next time I will probably have them writing something to go along with them when they are displayed.

 I just can't contain how happy these make me!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dragon Extension!

When the first graders finished up this project, I gave them some "How to Draw" dragon sheets for them to use and create a scene from... these were some of my favorites that turned up!

These were the sheets I created from different ones I found online.... I tried to get a good variety of difficulty so they could challenge themselves as their time went on...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Chinese Dragons with 1st Grade

Sometimes I do a project that I think will be really fun and when the kiddos get down to working on it, the spark is missing. While they didn't complain about this project I really felt their enjoyment lacking so I will have to play around with this one a bit if I decide to do it again in the future....

I Can Statements:
I can discuss the difference between Western and Eastern dragons.
I can create an Eastern dragon using paper and string.

Day 1: For the introduction to this project I made a few google slides comparing and contrasting dragons from the two parts of the world. Because I was saying "Eastern" and "Western" so much we used our large world map in the room to to review directions and sides of the world. Then we talked about how dragons show up a lot in different festivals and they got to watch this performance video I found on YouTube...

When it was time to work I started with a demo on my document camera of gluing the string down and using the template I made below like a map to put the pieces over the top of to see if they were similar size and shape to what I needed... they were not required to use the template but many did. Then they got to work using the scrap boxes to make their heads of the dragon.

Day 2: Had them tell me differences between Eastern and Western Dragons and I was so happy to find that they remember a ton! Did a short demo on the document camera about using the "funky scissors", as I like to call them, to cut strips of scraps to be the body. I also showed them that I measured with my finger to make sure they weren't too skinny or fat otherwise too many will get covered up when the dragon curves. 

When they were done working I had a variety of How to Draw dragon sheets for them to use and draw dragon pictures from...I'll show you those later!

Changes for next attempt: We were a bit short on time because it was the end of the year but I was thinking about adding a border and possibly talking about calligraphy. Also switching up the materials into something more fun? Maybe adding some metallic paper?

While I don't think this was up there with #1 projects they loved they sure learned a lot and that I am proud of!