Saturday, January 31, 2015

It's All About The Base: Reaching New Heights

One day collaborative lesson involving #STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)

Grades 6-8

Collaborate with your team, using only masking tape and newspapers, to build the tallest freestanding structure you possibly can in 25 minutes.

Choosing Kind Calligraphy

Sixth graders communicated our school theme,"Choose Kind", in a unique way.  Instead of working on a computer, they wrote using a calligraphy pen and ink to produce these old-style graphic designs reminiscent of the Middle Ages. 

Wow! I'm super proud of my sixth graders' patience and perseverance. 
  Kids today aren't used to working with such quiet focus for long periods of time.  Despite their initial misgivings, ("Do what???") students set out to master  calligraphy pen and ink techniques, writing in a font titled "Old English". 
 And master, they did. 
 Before beginning, we viewed a Discovery Education video describing the book making process and saw that even scribes weren't perfect!  Did you know that scribes sometimes made mistakes?   I think that knowledge helped a great deal while  practicing and creating the final piece: kids understood that they might make a mistake, but it was solvable.  
Chant music of the Benedictine Monks  gently played throughout the studio  as we imagined we were scribes writing in the Middle Ages.  Ask your child about being an apprentice, scribe, artist or illuminator in a scriptorium : ) 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jasper Johns Number Party

Jasper Johns is an artist who makes art using symbols that we immediately recognize such as a flags, a maps, or numbers.  First graders viewed his number paintings and were excited to try this themselves.  

Do you remember the shoebox of sticky letters from this post?  Well plenty of number stickers remained and were called into action! 
Children picked 5 numbers (maybe with special meaning to them?) and five colors of oil pastels.   Repeating colors, they outlined each number a few times, then drew lines between numbers to connect them.  Kids then created larger shapes by drawing more lines to the paper's edge. Those larger areas seemed pretty empty so they designed patterns... with what?  Mini numbers, of course! The children thought it was so cool how numbers could fit together like a puzzle- sometimes seeming camouflaged.  Finally, it was time to pull out the watercolors for some crayon resist painting. 
What do you see in our paintings? 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

December Gems

Enjoy a glimpse into our art room during the 
wonderfully crazy month of December : ) 
Often, there doesn't seem to be enough time to complete a lesson the way I envision. But you can be sure there's a tremendous amount of learning, discovery, and adventure as children earnestly and enthusiastically create gifts for their families! 

Grade 7: Metal Repousse Ornaments
For inspiration, we looked at visual texture and lines in Vincent Van Gogh's art. 

Grade 2:  Symmetrical Angel Sculptures
How we squeezed this lesson into two short periods, I'll never know! 

Grade 1:  Torn Paper Nativity
December... the month where "crafts" and glitter might sneak into the art studio.....Oh boy, do first graders love glitter! 

Grade 5:  Stained Glass Ornaments
So cute! Thanks to our awesome fifth grade teachers who helped find time to finish these! 

First, kids drew lines with black sharpies one side of the acetate. Then, they turned it over, and drew with colored permanent markers on the back. 

Grade 4: Ornaments in Light and Shadow

Grade 3: Nativity Silhouette
Learning about focal point, emphasis, and shape.