Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Alien Landscapes

What might you see on an undiscovered planet? 
Third graders have some ideas! 
  To design their chalk pastel landscapes, children made stencils to create a foreground, middle ground, and background. 
Next we wondered, "What might live there"?  In no time at all, different sized aliens came to life!  (The energy in the room was out of this world:)
By placing smaller aliens in the background, third graders created the illusion of deep space.

We finished our landscape unit by going on a class trip to the James A. Michener Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  We were able to see many landscapes by the Bucks County Impressionists including Daniel Garber's mural, The Woodland Watershed. What a great day!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Expressive Shoes

Seventh Grade studies Vincent Van Gogh and Post Impressionism.
Works in progress...

Olivia observes that, "To paint a shoe, you have to think like a shoe".

Can a still life painting of a shoe express a personality? Who wears/wore this shoe? Where? How did it move? What did it feel like to be in this shoe? 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Art of Signing - Part 2

Who doesn't like the excitement of tie-dye?  With the help of white oil pastels and crayon resist technique, sixth graders utilized their color wheel know-how to create tie-dye "ish' backgrounds. 
These would become the perfect backdrop for our contour line drawings!

My students know that we use sign language in my home and are always interested when I intentionally or inadvertently begin signing in class. For this lesson, we learned to create contour line drawings of the sign language alphabet hand shapes. 
On the Smartboard, I projected a large photograph of a hand shape. Then, I demonstrated what a contour line was by drawing on top of the photograph. What's really neat is then removing the photo to expose only the drawing ! The kids really got it! They took turns coming up and practicing while others practice in their art journals. 
I also stressed drawing what you really see and not what you think you see.
Some pictures of the process are already posted here.
Try reading their initials and enjoy the exciting results! 

Kindergarten's Alphabet Party

Kindergarten finished a lesson learning about the lines, shapes and colors used by artist, Piet Mondrian. We discovered that he painted very straight black lines.  Now it was time to explore what else lines could do.

First, we learn about basic painting skills like "dip, tap, paint": how to dip your brush into paint and tap it on the side before painting (this is the opposite of "dip, drip, drip, drip, paint"!). Also, to keep colors fresh, each color brush "lives" in it's own "house" - no "visiting other colors"! 

While teaching these skills, I demonstrate painting my initial, "M", so large that it fills the whole paper.  You'd think I was magic if you heard all the "oohs" and "aahs"!!! Then, I select two other colors to outline the "M". What other kinds of lines do we know?  Children give me ideas: wavy, curly, zig-zag, spiral. Sometimes there aren't words- they draw on the board to show us. 
I quickly demonstrate some possibilities around the letter. 
And then, it's their turn! 

Savannah decides our art looks like an alphabet party! 

My creative parent volunteer spreads the word  : )
Gives me ideas for next year, too! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Art of Signing (Part 1)

Here's a sneak peek of some exciting works in progress...
Sixth graders use contour lines to draw their initials in sign language. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's a Bad Hair Day in Sixth Grade

 I found this idea a few years ago (I don't remember where) and it's been a hit ever since!