Monday, February 4, 2013
In Mrs. Percival's first grade, we have been working on an action research project. The goal for this art lesson was to help the children with their writing skills with an art correlation. To do this, Mrs. Percival reviewed the basic parts of a sentence before they came to a special art class. When the class came to art, we did a brief review and each child selected a postcard of an animal they wanted to draw. We used Crayola Color sticks and I gave them a basic lesson in observational drawing. This is a difficult skill, but the children did a great job! First they drew the basic shape of the animal, added the details and colored in a background. We started running out of time, so towards the end of class, Mrs. Percival and I helped each child as they wrote a sentence about their animal. The goal was for each child to write a complete sentence using a noun, a verb, at least one adjective and proper punctuation. Some of the sentences are more complex than others.
The little bobcat is climbing a log.
The fuzzy wolf is howling.
The little raccoon is studying the meadow.
The huge eagle is soaring in the sky.
The little baby fox is licking.
The huge brown elk is bugling.
This was a fun project and we hope it gave them a BOOST in their understanding of sentence structure. The children will be taking a standardized test soon, and we are interested to see if this activity might have helped. We will let you know what the results are!
Monday, January 7, 2013
With a short week and the beginning of a new year, I had the chance to visit Neola Elementary School and create a collaborative lesson with Mrs. Parry. Her class had been studying about George Washington Carver, so we decided to spend some time exploring the peanut plant. When I arrived, her students told me everything they knew about George Washington Carver. Did you know that he invented over 300 products using peanuts? Mrs. Parry's students knew more about George Washington Carver than I did! We decided that it would be fun to explore peanuts and how they grow. This lesson ties in nicely with the 2nd grade science core. We made sure that none of the children had peanut allergies before we started the next part of the lesson.
To start our scientific evaluation, we opened a bag of peanuts that were still in the shells. We looked at the peanuts, broke them open, felt the texture and then we drew them. We learned that peanuts are a LEGUME, not a nut.
After we had spent time observing peanuts, we decided to start drawing them. We practiced drawing a peanut with pencil on manila drawing paper. We drew curly roots and lots of peanuts underground. We drew the plant and flower above ground with a cutaway view. Once we had all practiced, we did our final piece of art using oil pastels on 80 lb. white art paper.
Finally we painted our picture with watercolors, brown for the earth and blue for the sky. The results were very lovely and the children were thrilled.
The inspiration for this painting came from this website: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/plants/pages/peanutplant.shtml
Friday, January 4, 2013
We painted our pottery with earth tone colors, including gold and silver to give it a bit of holiday sparkle. The children working so carefully on their painting this year and the overall results were simply beautiful.
It was fun to see the beautiful color and symbolic designs on each pot.
Once the paint was dry we added a coat of clear varnish to give each pot a nice shine. Needless to say, the children were thrilled with their beautiful pottery.
There is something magical about working with clay. We learned how to center our clay, create a sphere, and get the feel of the clay in our hands.
Our 2nd graders learned how to make simple pinch pots and then carved into the clay with different tools to create different types of texture and designs.
We learned about symbolic language and each child was able to look at a reference sheet to get ideas about how to decorate their pottery. We allowed the pots to dry for two weeks and then we painted them using colors of the earth. More photos will follow!
Friday, November 16, 2012
Arctic Habitat Action Page
This is my own version of our Arctic Habitat page. I will post more pictures of the children's work as they finish working on their pages.
The idea for this page in our art journal came from Kendra Embleton, a 2nd grade teacher here at East. She had watched a video showing how the polar bear could smell seals even through very thick ice and it showed the polar bear hunting for seals. Her idea was to put the polar bear on a brad so that the bear could move up and down, as if banging on the ice. The little seals are attached with velcro so the students can detach them and play with them.
The teachers showed their students the video from BBC, Polar Bear Battlefield, at the following link before they came to art class. The whole video is interesting, but the part you want to watch is from 7:30-15:15. It shows the bear hunting and breaking into the snow and ice to find the seals.
For our sketchbook activity, I showed the children how to draw a polar bear, but in application, both the polar bear and the seals were preprinted on thick tagboard for each child.
This journal page was pretty simple to make and very fun. We put a puddle of thick white tempera (Crayola brand is my favorite) right on the pages and the children spread the thick paint around with a large brush. Then we went around and gave each child some silver glitter paint to add some sparkle. They just mixed this in with the white. Finally, the children used watercolor paints (the cake type) to add soft color and shadow to the ice. While this paint was drying, they painted their seals and their polar bear. Then we worked on our Habitat Wheel! The habitat wheel as a mini-version of our zentangle art from last year. I will post a photo of this in a separate blog post!
In many ways, this was the most age appropriate journal page for the 2nd graders. It was simple and easy for every child to have success.
As a note, all of these journal pages can also be created on regular paper.
This week some of the 2nd grade classes chose to create a rainforest Art page for one of their habitats. First, we looked at illustrations and photos of the rainforest, and talked explored the different animals that live in a rainforest. Then to paint the book, we started with a light green tempera for the background, and then we added a large tree with branches and vines from the brown. Then we switches to scissor art as each child created a tropical bird and a frog with textured paper left over from last year's Eric Carle Art project. The goal was to add lots of green leaves and vines with patterned texture paper, but in translation, only the most advanced students finished in time to complete this last step. The next day, we experimented a bit with color mixing and I decided that we will come back and have the children add more leaves and greenery with PAINT rather than cut paper. This has been a learning process and has been very fun.
These are student samples of a 2nd grader. The bird was fashioned from basic oval shapes and then the children cut ovals to make feathers.
This 2nd grader had time to add a very cute little tree frog. They drew the frog on the back side of the patterned paper, and then cut it out. Again, after experimenting a bit, I think it would be best to paint the light green background, and then paint some darker green accents and texture on the background instead of trying to add all the leaves with cut paper. Time was a factor with this lesson and another alternative would be to expand the lesson to 2 one hour sessions instead of one. There just wasn't enough time to add all the fun details like a snake, flowers and greenery. Unfortunately, we only had 1 hour to finish this project. The rainforest scenes are still very beautiful and the children were delighted with their work.
For the writing portion of this art project, the children could add a short paragraph on tree or in the background. The classroom teachers will be working the children to create poems or stories that go along with each habitat.
The birds were created using basic oval shapes and were inspired by an art lesson taught by Mimi Thomas.
English Language Arts Common Core W.5.1 Writing