Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shape Abstracts - 1st Grade

My first grades created these shape abstracts back in September.  This lesson focused on shape review, proper painting technique/procedures and following directions.


I instructed them on which shape to draw and how many.  Three circles, three triangles and two squares.  They placed them randomly on their paper, positioning them how ever they wished.

The kids traced their pencil lines in black oil pastel and painted them in with tempera cakes.  Everyone did a great job!  

Here's hoping that Hurricane Sandy does not hit New Jersey in the way they are predicting! Not looking forward to days of no electric again this year for Halloween!  Lost power for four days this time last year in a freak blizzard that took down several the trees in the area!  I was supposed to be attending a workshop on STEM to STEAM on Mon and Tues but it has been postponed due to the impending weather.  Of course I got the notification right after I finished writing and putting together two full days of  lesson plans!!!  Instead of a nasty trick from Mother Nature, I am hoping for a Treat!  Be safe and good luck to all of you in the area!  :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Color Mixing - 1st Grade

It's Fall people!  When you teach elementary school it is time for lots of pumpkins!  Kids just LOVE pumpkins!  Who doesn't love pumpkins, right?!  The other week while checking out the blogs I saw this post by Patty at Deep Space Sparkle.  A simple but beautiful lesson using pumpkins!  Pure inspiration!  I started my first grades on their pumpkins the next day!


My students started by drawing their pumpkins in pencil using the directions Patty gave for drawing her Starlight Pumpkins.  They traced their pencil lines with black oil pastel and set to work painting!

I gave them red and yellow tempera paint and demonstrated how to mix the colors on their pumpkins to get orange.  When the kids finished painting, they put them on the drying rack to dry.

Previous to the second class, I painted some large sheets of tag board green and gave them different textures.  I cut them up into small pieces that the students cut their leaves from.

 Love the scraped texture on this one

I cut this plastic lid to make the scraper

Overlapping swirls
Made the swirls with this small scrubbie from the dollar store

I cut them up into smaller pieces the students cut their leaves from.  I also gave them gold paint for their vines, stems and to add a little to their pumpkins. They LOVED the gold paint!  Here are some of the finished pieces...  Have a great weekend and go pick some pumpkins!                                                                                      

Friday, October 12, 2012

Color Wheel Pumpkins & Zentangle - 4th Grade

This lesson was inspired by this pin, I found on Pinterest some time ago.  I needed to do a color wheel lesson with my fourth grades but I wanted it to be something that would hold their interest.  Since it is Autumn and Halloween is just around the corner, I decided to go with pumpkins! 

I instructed the students to start by drawing six overlapping pumpkins.  Every time I was asked:  "Why do they have to overlap?"  In return said:  "Think about it."  They knew we were using the color wheel in order to paint them in.  Happily, there were a few students that quickly answered:  "Where the pumpkins/colors overlap we will get the tertiary colors, red-orange, blue-green, etc..."

The first steps looked something like this.  I reminded the students the major objective was to keep there colors in order of the color wheel starting with red.  They outlined their drawing with black Sharpie marker before painting.

If they had more than six pumpkins, they were to go full circle and repeat their colors from red until they were out of pumpkins to paint.  It took one 30 minute class to draw out, trace and paint their pumpkins.  Very few students needed extra painting time the next class.  The students kept asking:  "Can we paint the background?"  Mind you they are used to me always saying:  "Paint everything!"  "No, we are not painting the backgrounds this time."  I didn't know what I wanted to do with the backgrounds at that time.  Something that would give it some pizzazz!  Something that would make you say:  "Wow!"  When you looked at them.  So I thought about it all week.  I wanted a background element that would contrast with the colorful pumpkins.  I came across this pin.

That was my "AH-HAH " moment!  Zentangle the background with black Sharpie!  The black and white designs would be the perfect companion to the colorful, simple lines of the pumpkins!  When the students saw the completed sample they were very excited to start their own designs!  All the classes are doing an excellent job and loving the end results! Here are a few finished and in progress pieces from this week! 


Sunday, October 7, 2012

3rd Grade & Wolf Kahn

I discovered the work of Wolf Kahn this summer while looking around the web.  I must express that I was blown away by the beauty of his pieces!  He was born in Germany in 1927.  He and his family fled from Germany in 1940 and relocated to New York City where he grew up and studied. Wolf makes his home in NYC and Vermont and works primarily in pastels and oil paints.  I introduced him to my third grades on Thursday and they were also blown away by the beauty of his pieces!  We started by looking at many of his pieces on the Morrison Gallery website on the Smartboard.  There were so many pieces to view and the kids wanted to see them all!

This is one of the many pieces by Wolf Kahn that my third grades looked at.

I made up table posters (1 for each table).  These gave the students a close up visual of the artist/artists work that can stay on their table fpr them to study throughout the project.  I laminate them and save them from year to year.  So, when they get paint plastered or accidentally spill colors, I can just wipe them off easitly.

This was a quick artist study/project.  The kids were able to finish in one class period, then they started by creating a simple sketch of trees using oil pastels.  I only gave them purple, light green, white, peach, pink and yellow to draw with.  They could use one or many of the colors to draw their trees.  Some even added leaves to the branches.  I had them paint over the oil pastel using the tempera paint cakes that I had already out and prepped from the color studies we are doing in fourth and fifth grade.  The colors are bright and the kids were able to water them down for a more transparent look if they wanted to.  Here are some of the finished pieces from Thursday...

As we were cleaning up after class, one of my third grade boys while looking at the images on the table poster said:  "I just can't believe it."   I replied:  "What can't you believe?"   "I can't believe he is still alive!"  The kids always imagine every artist as deceased!  I went on to say that not all artists we talk about are deceased.  Many are alive and well!  He went on to say:  "Wow! He looks really good for a man in his 80's!"  This is why I love teaching elementary age children!   :)