Sunday, January 25, 2015

Theme: Country Boots!

The county fair is next month and there is a group of people that are responsible for putting together this awesome event. And, of course there is always a theme. This year the theme is Country Roots & Country Boots! Art teachers are encouraged to participate by displaying student work. Besides, advocating for our art programs, in my opinion, is VERY important.

Lucky me! I have the perfect book, to share with my students, to introduce this lesson.
AND a calendar from 2004 to further inspire the kiddos.
For my kindergarteners and 1st graders, I decided to do crayon resist-it's just so magical for them! They love when the white crayon marks appear when painted over with water color paint.

Students use a template to draw their boot. And then create their theme or pattern and use crayons to color it in.
 And then use water color to paint over the crayon.

 I believe in helping to build confidence in my students and that is why on occasion they use templates. Two weeks after using a template to make his boot a little kindergartener showed me what he did on his own time-
For my 4th and 5th graders, they were shown a power point with photos of boots to inspire them. The focus for the lesson was composition. When viewing the power point we discussed not only the variety of subject matter, but, how the photographer placed the boots for the photo. I also, demonstrated a variety of ways they could position their boots.

My plan for them was to use water color paint on the boots and the background, then use markers, colored pencils or gel sticks to add details the following week.


The really hard part of this, is to decide which ones to display!! I am allowed to send a total of 8-12 pieces for the school exhibit. There is also an art exhibit, where I will be able to showcase the work they have been doing all year. 

Oh, in case you are wondering about my 3rd and 4th graders, they did landscapes which I will cover in another post.

How do you decide which art work to display, when you are limited by space? I'd really like to know!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Museum Activity: You Be the Critic!

In preparation for our 4th grade museum trip I wanted to do an activity, with my students, that I learned about last summer through NAEA's Summer Vision, DC.  This program gave me the opportunity to visit different museums and learn how to use art to teach art.

 I pulled out a variety of art posters and put them out on the tables. Photocopied the form, which I had redone, gathered up the tokens I had made and laminated and gathered up clip boards. Ready or not here they come.............
You can see icons in the column on the left side of the form, and the explanation in the right column.  I made a class set of each icon into a token using different colored paper, you will see them further down in this post. 

Before students entered the room, I explained what we were doing and handed out the sheets. Students were told to walk around, look at the art and fill in the boxes.

Then I gathered up the students, gave them tokens that matched the worksheet, and instructed them to leave them by the posters.
 Next, we walked around to all the tables and discussed our findings. Renoir's painting of Monet Painting In His Garden didn't go over quite as well as The Brooklyn Bridge by Joseph Stella.
Students were not wild about Paul Klee's Head of a Man, some thought it was scary. They really disliked Orange and Yellow by Marc Rothko because of the lack of details.             
 George Seurat's Seine at the Grand-Jatte didn't generate many tokens, however students DID believe it took a lot of time to make, but thought the whole dot thing to be weird. They LOVED the realism of Albert Bierstadt's In the Mountains and the marvelous texture in Young Hare by Albrecht Durer. The last one Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw by Augustus Saint-Gardens confused them, they based their opinion on the photography of the art and not the art in the photo.

The last part of this activity was for the students to draw one of the artworks in their sketchbook.

It was funny to see how many students decided to copy the Rothko, which they didn't like, but acknowledged would be the easiest.
One of the reasons I signed up for Summer Vision last year was to bring more historical and global connections to my students through the arts. It was a wonderful experience and I know my students really enjoyed this activity.

The variety of art posters were chosen based on what I have in the art room and the different styles of the artists. Anything that will generate a conversation will work.

I have downloaded a copy of the You be the Critic form and sheets with all the icons to my resource page.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Snowflakes in Florida

Yes, we have snowflakes in Florida! Because this crazy art teacher believes that January in Florida is really, really cold! Therefore, I will make PAPER snowflakes with my students! First, I had to explain to my students that winter is 3 months long and that we can do snow art after Christmas. They can be so silly!

The book Robert's Snowflakes is a beautiful collection of illustrated snowflakes that was published with the proceeds going towards a cure for cancer.

It is quite obvious looking through this book that NO TWO snowflakes are the same! And I'm not sure I could pick a favorite....... 

My focus for this lesson was composition in art. Using the snowflake shape gave students the opportunity to really plan out what they would do. Should they consider designing the points of the snowflake differently, bring the shape of the points into play or do a design in the center and decorate the points?
I told students they should think about how they could make a personal connection to their artwork. 
And it didn't need to be wintery, after all we are in Florida.

I did this with my 2nd and 3rd graders, spread out over two class sessions. They used colored pencils. And if there was time, when students finished, they got to make SNOWFLAKES! A donation of coffee filters were perfect for this. Would you believe there were children who never made a snowflake before?

Students really enjoyed making their snowflakes. And I really enjoyed seeing them making personal connections to their art and hearing what inspired them.

Other snow art lessons I've done include 2D and 3D snowmen, giant snowflakes. My first display at the county fair had a winter theme.

What's your favorite winter art projects? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading!