Monday, May 25, 2015

Geometric Forms for 3rd Grade

Our second marking period is devoted to Form in 3rd grade.  

I introduce the subject by showing them how to create the 3D form out of the 2D shape using just pencil.  We talk about light sources and shadow directions also at this time.   It's generally the first time we've used pencil shading to really make something look three dimensional, so the kids are usually very impressed and anxious to start this project.  We just use pencil on copier paper (cheep and easy to replace if they make a mistake) and these become our first drafts. They have to try one of each form: cylinder, cube, rectangular prism, sphere, cone, and pyramid.  Most of them already know their form names because it is also a topic in their math curriculum.

After experimenting with pencil, these drafts become our models for our "big" form project.  Using oil crayon on black paper we recreate the same forms, this time adding a table.  

My third grade came up with some fabulous art this year.  The classroom teachers even decided to hang it as their bulletin boards.  I love it when that happens!

Some close ups:


Monday, May 18, 2015

Snow Bunnies

This project was inspired by the book:

This is a great way to sneak some science into your art projects.  The book features the different ways that animals deal with winter.  Some like the rabbit change color for camouflage, others migrate, and some hibernate.  It was quite impressive to see how much about animals my kindergarteners already knew and could add other details about the animals in the book or others that weren't!

This is a two part project - Part one was completed in winter.  Part two we are about to start now that it is spring.  

For our Winter Snow Bunnies we painted with tempera paint on sky blue paper using simple shapes to make the rabbit bodies.  The second day once the paint was dry we went back with oil crayons and added the faces, snowflakes and the snow covered ground.  


We will be repeating the lesson with brown paint to make a spring version of our bunny.  This will be an interesting before and after to see the progress that they have made.  Spring Bunnies will be posted soon!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rainbow Order Penguins

Penguins!  The winter staple in art making!  The book that I chose to go along with this project came from a recommendation from Patty, over at Deep Space Sparkle

"Penguin" by Polly Dunbar was simply adorable.  My students loved it, and so did my classroom teachers.  Several borrowed my copy and did a writing lesson to go along with their students' artwork.  

For my part, we drew the penguins using basic shapes with oil crayons and then used tempera cakes to review our rainbow order and created the striped background behind our penguins.  

I use Prang Tempera Cakes.  I love them and their vivid color.  However, the trays break easily so I moved all my temperas into these plastic containers with lids.  MUCH less mess!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Website Find!

I discovered this fantastic website and wanted to share it with you.  It's called Art for Kids Hub.  It's run by a man named Rob who is an professional artist himself, and in addition to walking your students through easy step by step how-to-draw directions, he always draws with either his son or daughter or both so the kids can see that YES they can draw these steps too. 

This website can be a valuable resource for many reasons:
  1. For those of you looking for a great set of drawing lessons for a class that might be ahead of others in their grade and need something to do while the others catch up.
  2. To leave for a substitute instead of having to write full plans.
  3. To use as a computer center for kids who finish projects early.  
  4. For those weird half days when you might see a class for only part of the normal class time and there's just not enough time to resume work on the regular project.
  5. For those days when it's before a holiday vacation and the kids are just bouncing off the walls and you need a way to get them to focus.
Each video is only about ten minutes long.  I have found that in a normal class time we can get to about three videos.  I love these because the directions are clear, the teacher jokes around with his kids so my students view it as fun, and because the videos do move along at a good pace - the class HAS to be quiet to follow the directions.  I could not believe how well they focused.  

Here's a few examples from back in December on the day before the holiday break.  We followed his "How to Draw the Grinch" steps.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Town Hall Display

The art teachers in my town are routinely asked to do bulletin board displays at both the Board of Education and at Town Hall.  April was my month to display work at the Town Hall.  Finding parking there is always a pain, but the kids' pride when they find out their work was chosen to be on display in a place where the WHOLE TOWN can go see it?  Priceless!   

The boards at our town hall are unfortunately quite small, so I don't have the room to display everyone's work.  Typically, I take the first finished artwork from whatever my latest favorite project was.  This time, it was a one-point perspective interior op art.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

4th Grade Color Wheels

Color wheels are such a basic tool that artists use.  We have to understand how colors relate to each other and how to mix them.  But it is SO boring teaching the same color wheel over and over and over again.  We have to cover it at least once in every grade.  So how do you make an old concept feel fresh again?

Four forth grade this year, we tried a color wheel that uses light to dark patterns of each color.  We threw in some shapes to create pattern reversals to give it that Op Art feel and made it easy to complete by just using crayons! And viola!  Color Wheel!

We started by measuring out the six sides.  It was actually shocking how many students were not successful at measuring.  I had to stop and just teach how to use the ruler.  This is apparently not a skill being learned in math anymore.  Figuring out units of measurement through equations/conversations is not the same as actually using the ruler, measuring out distance and marking it.  Once the exterior of the shape was complete we moved on to segmenting the middle and then drawing the lines for the pattern.  And again, they needed help with this - some of them were drawing the lines from one "slice" across into the other without turning them to account for the new angle.  Drawing was supposed to be one class but almost wound up two full classes with just the issues we had having to go back and correct mistakes made by not understanding how to use the ruler or understanding angles.

Once we got to the coloring though - it went like gangbusters!  Does anyone besides me use that word?  Gangbusters.  It's a good word.  We should use it more often.

Anywho...Coloring took about two classes.  Here's some of the finished examples: