Sunday, November 7, 2010

Close Up Snowman - How do artists organize their artwork within the space of their paper?

The first graders have been on the "Space" unit for a quite a while now.  They have completed 4 or 5 projects using space (this unit included the landscapes, cityscapes, these snowmen and a winter landscape).  These snowmen have been so unique even though they are all cropped the same way.  I spoke about zooming in on a camera with the kids and even showed them what that looks like on a digital camera.  I had the kids follow along while I drew the outline of the snowman with a black crayon and they added their own details.  I also asked the students to draw snow flakes in the sky with a white crayon.  Then the students painted the details with watercolors...making sure to leave out the white snowman!

This project was inspired by a post on Deep Space Sparkle

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Frank Stella's Protractor Series

Being that my husband in a math teacher I am always on the lookout to incorporate math in an artistic way.  Frank Stella's protractor series does just that.  I had the students look at his paintings and asked how he placed the protractor on his paintings.  Some answers I received was that protractors appeared:
-upside down
-right side up
-place next to or below another protractor
The list is really endless.  I gave each student a protractor (purchased from my own pocket) and had them trace in 4 or 5 times.  To create a better colored pattern students were told to only use 4 or 5 colors and the shapes were colored in using markers.  The kids love markers, as do I for the easy clean up.   The result are these beautiful abstract drawings.  These are 2 works in progress I will post a finished product soon.

Kindergarten Leaf Drawings

What better way to bring in the fall than some leaf (or line) studies?  I was inspired by the "How to draw a Maple Leaf" lesson from the blog 
This project was very simple and perfect for a busy week of assemblies (since I am at 3 school each one has an assembly on a different day).  Students followed a guided drawing and then colored them in using fall colored crayons.  On second inspection the top leaf inspired me to include this lesson in my line unit.  I can turn the veins of the leaf into many different types of lines....I will save that one for next year!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Spider Webs

Kindergarteners are learning about the element of art, line.  I saw a spider web project on so I stole it and changed it!  I had the kids draw a large X in the middle of their 9x12 paper and use white crayons to complete the web with straight lines, broken lines, swirly lines, and zig zag lines.  Then the students drew the spiders with oil pastels.

I wanted to keep working with the element of space and this also help reinforce my landscape vocabulary (horizon lines, background, and foreground) so we made cityscapes.  The students were shown many different pictures of New York City, they all showed different times of day and different times of year.  The students were encouraged to create their own cities that showed the times of day and the season, but also needed to show background buildings and foreground buildings.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Higher Level Questions

One of my goals for this school year is to improve my higher level questions and my essential questions for each lesson.  To do this I have been studying blooms taxonomy to help me prepare questions for each of my lessons.  I found this great link on Incredible Art Department that breaks down Blooms for art teachers...very helpful.

The essential questions for the Autumn landscapes project are:
How do artists portray space and time?
How do we create a landscape image?

I think writing essential questions are a real art form of their own.

Autumn Landscapes

For the past 2 weeks my first graders have been exploring the element of space.  They created autumn oil pastel resist landscapes.  The students organized their landscapes by using a horizon line and we discussed foreground and background.  They were suppose to put at least one tree in the background and at least one in the foreground.  I taught the students how to make "Y tree" which is when they draw branches on their trees instead of a lolly pop tree (which is just a trunk with a big circle on top that is suppose to look like leaves).  The students drew the trees with oil pastels and the next week painted over them with watercolors.