Thursday, March 31, 2016

3rd Grade Australian Aboriginal Dot Art (2015)

3rd Grade's Elementary Art curriculum of world cultures allowed me to "travel" with them to Australia to learn about the country and create some Australian Aboriginal Dot Art!


This project came from the ever brilliant Mrs. Nguyen over at her blog.

I Can statements: I Can tell you something about Australia. I Can create an artwork in the style of Aboriginal Dot Art.

As i've mentioned in other 3rd grade "travels" my goal is to give my students the biggest picture of a culture or country as I can in a one project time frame. I came up with framing my lesson in a way that gives them small background knowledge and then connecting one of those background pieces to artmaking. To help my students track their new found knowledge, each time we "travel" to a new place I have them fill out a passport page. You can read more about this process from this post.

Day 1: Intro to Australia, passport, animal practice, and set up.

We started by looking at the Australian flag, looking at Australia on a map, and then 5 facts about Australia!

1. Australia has over 10,000 beaches. You could visit a new beach every day for 27 years
2. There are more kangaroos than people in Australia
3. There is a lake in Australia called Lake Hillier that is known for its pink color
4. The top 10 deadliest snakes can be found in Australia
5. Australian Aboriginals make artwork using dots to tell stories about their tribes and land.

Obviously the fact we dived into the most was about the Aboriginals. I was trying to get them to use textual clues to figure what Aboriginals meant and we finally got it! However, their favorite fact was probably the pink lake!

We watched part of this documentary from 37:02 to 40:23 as an introduction to the Aboriginal culture and their dot art.

Then the first part of their passports were filled out and it was time to start working. I provided them with the handout below and then they practiced different animals they wanted to create. When they had one down comfortably they drew it on a 6x9 piece of bright construction paper, cut it out, and glued it to a 9x12 piece of black construction paper.


Day 2: Starting the Dots!

Kicked off the day with another short video...



After the demo they got to work making dots like machines! Some students had to finish drawing and cutting their animals before creating dots. Each table had a pallette with a full set of colors and enough scratch art sticks for each color. They used the back flat end of the sticks to create the dots. We talked about using just the right amount of paint and how many dots were just enough before dipping again and what the best way to go about laying down dots was. The first workday everyone was really focused and into it....


Day 3 & 4: Workdays!

Started off each day with a little review about what we remembered from Australia and then they got to work. As time went on they started to lose motivation and focus but not finishing was not an option. I did allow friends to help (if they wanted help) once we got down to the last few minutes on the last workday.


 When they were finally done the last job was finishing their passport and turning in their project.


I am so proud of their perseverance and quality that came out of this and REALLY glad I didn't go bigger than 9x12. I am thinking next time that early finishers could do a really big group one!

Looking for feedback on two things....

Do you think it was okay that I "made" them finish and not quit?

Do you think it was okay that I allowed friends to help (if they wanted) at the end?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

NAEA Convention Chicago Adventures!

I had the incredible opportunity once again to attend the National Art Education Association National Convention. This year was in Chicago (just a short train ride away!) and I attended with my mentor and fellow Elementary Art Ed teacher in my district Kristie. Here is a look into our adventures!


I prepared for the convention with a Jamberry jammicure. Notice the Keith Haring ones I had custom made!


We got into Chicago Wednesday afternoon and took advantage of the sunshine and made our way over to The Bean at Millennium Park. We had a conversation about whether or not we thought Anish Kapoor was insulted that everyone calls it "The Bean" instead of it's real name "Cloud Gate" Thoughts on this would be appreciated!


We stayed at the Palmer House, a beautiful historical hotel in the Chicago Loop. It was just a short walk from Millennium Park and The Chicago Art Institute.


We started early Thursday at the convention and somehow ended up attending SEVEN sessions just on Thursday alone. But we did get to have a little fun in the expo hall before the sessions!

Faber Castell always has a great set up and fun things to try. This was my favorite...beeswax crayons and their black tempera over the top to create a make-your-own scratch art. However, they demoed that you don't have to let it dry first. They painted the black and then while it was still wet just used the end of the brush to draw.  Officially on my list to try!


Faber Castell also had this sweet photo booth! Think da Vinci would be proud or insulted?


Friday was much more relaxing with only 4 sessions and the rest of the expo hall...

Another product that has officially made my list to order is Jack Richeson's Semi-Moist Watercolors that are pearlescent! That is WATERCOLOR paint on the black paper. The next trick is finding black paper that responds the best. They were just demoing on black cardstock....any suggestions?


This mind-blowing product was one of Jack Richeson's too. Playcolor sticks! They feel like the gel sticks from other companies when you use them but they don't smear and are actually tempera! Not sure if I will order these since I don't know what to do with them but keeping them in the memory bank for sure!


Crystal Productions is another favorite company of mine and had this book with matching display cards. It is AWESOME. And already on my list to order for next year.


A shout out to Nasco for their awesome display. Tried to get a selfie with this one but it just didn't have the full impact!


Obviously we had to swing by The Art of Ed and take advantage of their clever St Patty's inspired display for a photo op!


One of my #1 sessions was on Friday and was with Elementary Art Educator RoseAnn LaBrocca. It was one of those sessions on research but unlike some that you leave going "whhhhhhhaaaatttttt was that even about?" this one was awesome. She was actually an Art Teacher and she talked about and showed the different activities she did to teach vocabulary in a meaningful and engaging way. The big take away was to embed the vocabulary and engage students with it in the art process to provide an authentic context for learning the words. Not just saying the words the words but embedding them in everything. The data she presented was also really incredible. I'm probably going to use her research as inspiration for my PDP! It was that good.


Saturday wrapped up our adventures with a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago to check out the van Gogh exhibit. The line was long and it was crowded but glad we went!


They did a full scale recreation of van Gogh's bedroom based on his famous painting...paintingS actually..did you know he made 3 versions of this bedroom painting!?!? I sure didn't. Another amazing part of the exhibit was side by side by side VERY high resolution photographs of different sections of the paintings to compare and contrast them.


And this almost made me cry... van Gogh's paint tubes and pallette. I don't know how they know it was his or what proof they have but I will believe it without any doubt!


I'm officially home and exhausted and had to go into school on Sunday to prepare for the week but it was so worth it and amazing experience as always. Until next time!

 New York maybe!?!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Fine Arts Night and I'm totally sick. BRB.

Sorry for being MIA the last week or two. I'm sick AGAIN (no voice and hacking up a lung) and crazy busy with our Fine Arts Night. 800 pieces of artwork needing to be put up and labeled AND on voice rest so I can actually talk to all the parents!

To keep you inspired until I have time to make a real post.... here is an AWESOME video circulating around right now. I have shown it to most of my classes this week (K-4). They were all equally mind blown.