Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Using Literature With Art

Back to school/work after a very relaxing holiday break. Inspiration for today's blog came from the art teacher facebook page. Where I saw requests, from teachers, for lessons to use with younger students and lists of books to get for the art room. Joining those 2 concepts together let me share a few lessons with all of you.

A Rainbow of My Own, a lesson to help learn the rainbow AND at the same time practice using scissors-correctly and safely. I prepare this lesson by photocopying the zig zag page from the book: Little Kids Cut. I print the page out onto color copy paper, using the colors of the rainbow. If you don't have this book-improvise by making your own practice page.

When starting this lesson with students, I read them the book. Show them my sample above. Demonstrate making a rainbow using primary colors of paint, which I overlap/mix to make the rainbow. They do get annoyed they aren't painting, but, I always promise we will soon!

Next, we talk about the parts of the scissor, what fingers go where, keeping our thumbs up. If there's time, we practice holding scissors while walking, passing scissors to someone else. I demonstrate how to cut on the line. Move the paper not your hand. I explain that we will all make a rainbow collage, however, we are all cutting only one sheet of paper. I usually do this over 2 class meetings. And, I explain that the next time they will share all the cut paper.

When they return to art we review what we learned the previous class. Then I read them the book Too Much Glue, in the hope that they will restrain themselves. Hahahaha, I can be so silly sometimes...... Anyway, I do a rainbow collage as the students call out the colors in rainbow order.
Next up Where's My Teddy, a cute story about a boy, a bear and how they both lost their teddy in the woods.
 Again, I read the story, I show my sample and I demonstrate. I really went slow with this one as there were so many new concepts for them. They get folding the paper in half, however they get stuck on putting the tracer on the folded edge. Rule was you show me either before you start tracing or before you start cutting, 'cause you are not getting more paper! And the bonus was they could save their scrap and then they would have a pattern to use at home to make more.
Photo on the right, the top part is the tracer I made, which must be placed on the fold. Under that is the scrap they can save. This is a good way to explain symmetry. Also, got to use the word cylinder, as all the bear parts are glued to an empty toilet paper roll. (And NOW Scott is making roll free toilet paper, how could they?) I have the students glue paper (that I cut to size) onto to the tp roll and place a rubber band over that to hold the paper in place while the glue dries.

Then, they do the tracing, cutting, remove the rubber band, and glue on the body parts. Time permitting they can add accessories and clothing to their bears.

And, last but not least........ since you know I have more to share down the road, or would it be in future blogs.........

Love this story about an elephant that decides to paint all his elephant friends to look like him.
Following the same format as above, I read, show samples and demo. The first week is all about drawing the elephant and mixing the color gray. The second week I share a different Elmer story and we talk about lines and shapes and how we use them to create patterns.

I love using literature in the art room, it ties so many things together. It motivates the students, it helps to balance the time with the little one's short attention span. It makes me a good role model as I share my love of reading. And it's especially awesome if it's a book they haven't heard before!

Hope you enjoyed this, thanks for reading and please let me know what books you share with your students!

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