Tuesday, February 9, 2016

2nd Grade Warm and Cool Waves (2015)

To hit the 2nd grade curriculum of a contemporary artist and a social artist I introduced them to Robert Wyland. They were pretty pleased to do an artist that was still alive :) Project came from here via Pinterest.

A little background on my project choice...for those of you in the Educator Effectiveness world (EE) our SLO as an Elementary Art team is one that travels with a group of students from 1st to 4th. Last year it was based on Primary/Secondary Colors, this year Warm/Cool and next year will be Complementary. Therefore, I needed to do a project about this time of year that used warm and cool colors to help reinforce!

I Can Statements: I Can tell you something about Wyland. I Can identify warm and cool colors. I can paint a sunset with warm and wave with cool colors.

Day 1: Critique O'Keeffe Leaves, Intro Wyland, artist book, Wyland inspired drawings.

Wrapped up our O'Keeffe project with a group hamburger critique (more on that later), and moved on to learning about Wyland. Because he is still alive there are some awesome resources out there... we watched a few video clips to help learn about him...

He really allows for great discussion about what inspires people to paint different things and I had some really great conversations with students about this. Wrapped up intro day with free drawing ocean artwork...

Day 2: Intro Warm and Cool Colors. Drawing and painting wave (cool colors).
Had a few slides showing the separation of Warm and Cool and the trick of associating fire and water to the two groups to help remember them. Used this Youtube video as well..

Then they started drawing and painting the wave. I had them do pencil first and trace in black oil pastel. For paint, I really wanted them to play mad-scientist mixing wise to understand that the cool colors all "like each other" so I used really watered tempera paint. I gave them teal, blue, purple, and green to share as a table and then their own mixing cup. Because the paint was so watery craftsmanship was a big problem for some 2nd graders.

Day 3: Review Warm and Cool. Painting sunset (warm colors).
We did two quick review games before they moved on to painting the warm colored sunset. In my last district we had a ton of donated paper of all different color varieties so I made 6x6 laminated squares of basically every color I had. Our first review game was me turning around really fast with a color and they had to do "Brrrrr" arms if it was cool and fan themselves off it was warm. Next I passed out the squares randomly and they had to sort themselves into Warm and Cool.

After our review they painted the sunset. We traced a circle lid with a warm colored pencil to be the sun and then worked our way from yellow to red and mixing in between to paint the sunset. They used the watered down tempera again for this in red, yellow, and orange.

REALLY love how these turned out and all the different varieties in the waves. Plus they were totally psyched to be doing so much mixing.


  1. Great project!love the resources you used. I've never used the "I" staements..... they seem like they take the place of the objective... Is this correct?

    1. Yep! I write them on the board at the front of my classroom for each grade level so students, other staff, and adminstrators can see.

  2. How long are your class periods?

  3. I would love to know about the "hamburger critique".