Monday, February 23, 2015

Snowflake Watercolors

Like so many of us, we've definitely experienced our fair share of frosty weather this winter! Have you taken a moment to notice the shimmery snow crystals?  SJS Second graders have! 
We began by oohing and aahing over magical photographs in the book, The Secret Life of a Snowflake and then viewing  snow crystals on our Smart board.  It was exciting for the kids to see what snow flakes REALLY look like under a microscope. (Pretty cool for me, too!)  

Children discovered many geometric shapes hidden inside the overall design, and learned that every snow crystal begins as a hexagon. We were able to see lines of symmetry, too. 

It was time to make some art!
Children received a square white paper pre-drawn with six evenly spaced pencil lines radiating from the center. Using a black crayon, they learned to draw a geometric shape on one line, rotate their paper to the next line and repeat the shape again and again, until all six lines were complete.   Draw, rotate, draw, rotate, draw, rotate...  
They even learned a new art vocabulary word: radial.  Kids added new shapes until their beautiful radial design was complete. 
Frosty snowflakes call for cool, "frosty" colors so we naturally chose cool colors for the crayon resist painting.  I demonstrated how to paint with different values of the same color and stressed keeping colors symmetrical, also.  Some children sprinkled a tiny bit of salt crystals over the wet watercolor as a finishing touch. 
Art, science, math... magical!

Sunday, February 8, 2015


  It's the little things in life that can make someone's day. Don't you think? 
Here are a few examples that made my week awesome: 
Last Monday, kindergarteners finished learning to observe and paint a cardinal. 
Here's the lesson from last year.  Fortunately for us, multiple cardinals fluttered outside our art room bird feeder during both kindergarten art classes.  What were the chances of that?  We all gathered around the small window, full of curiosity and excitement, directly observing colors, shapes, features and movement. It sure was much better than looking at a photograph on the Smartboard!

Unbeknownst to me, one boy went home, observed many other pictures of birds and drew. And drew. And drew some more.  What more could an art teacher ask for? (Thanks to his mom for sharing the photo)

 Two former students, smiling young ladies, returned at the end of the day to pick up a younger sibling and took time to chat with me.  That would have been enough right there!  However, one tells me, that she's really good at a pop trivia app called "Trivia Crack".  She aces all the art questions and tells friends it's because of her grade school art teacher!  I'll take it. Yet another reason why art is relevant in the 21st century!