Sunday, February 27, 2011

2nd Grade: I love Rocks

As a little child I remember hiking around the mountains of Utah picking up pretty little rocks. My great grandmother was a "rock hound" and she sewed all the grandchildren little drawstring bags for us to keep our rocks in. She made little rock animals from her rock treasures and I remember how fun they were to look at. Later at family reunions, my Aunts and Uncles kept the tradition alive but having us "paint" rocks. When the 2nd grade teachers asked me to use ROCKS to create art projects to go along with 2nd grade Science curriculum, it brought back feelings of nostalgia. In the art room we have been sorting rocks into sizes and colors and using them to create beautiful art. The 2nd grade teachers helped me develop 3 projects for the students to create as they prepare for their program on ROCKS! In the first project we used different sizes and colors of rocks to create the beautiful little rock art pieces displayed above. As the students finished this project, they were allowed to start working on creating little rock animals. It has been fun to see the creativity as the children figure out how to combine the shapes and sizes of the rocks to create an animal. We learned about gravity and physics and we glued the rock animals together! Next time in art we will finish our rock animals and learn how to draw a "Rock Monster" with pastel chalks.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

2nd Grade: Keith Haring Art

The 2nd graders did a fabulous job as they created these amazing pictures in the style of Keith Haring. This lesson had two main correlations with the standard core, self-awareness and also math. In the art part of this lesson, we learned how to draw basic body shapes in proportion by drawing ovals. We drew an oval for the head, a bigger oval for the body, 3 smaller ovals for each arm, and then 3 ovals for each leg. We learned that our body only bends where we have a "joint"... in this case where two of our ovals met. We drew people doing all kinds of fun things. Ideally, the children drew figures doing something that was important to them... something they loved. Then we cut out our figures and glued them down. We tried to overlap the figures to show depth. This was a hard concept for the children to understand, but it was really interesting to see the results. Finally, we created some visual texture by making a beautiful "patterned" floor for our figures to dance on. I love the energy in all of these pictures. In the 2nd picture especially, you can actually see the children playing basketball. The overlapping in this piece of artwork provides so much depth to the picture. It was a little difficult for the children to draw "shadow" people with no expressions, but in the next art lesson we learned to draw a self portrait, and this was an adventure all in itself. Tune in for the next installment!

1st Grade Extension: Geometric Snowflakes

In one more fun snowflake extension, Miss Eberhard's class created these beautiful snowflakes by combining geometric shapes and then glueing them down on black paper. This fits in nicely with the math core and also teaches fractions and fractal design.

1st Grade Extension: Snowflakes

This photo didn't turn out very well, but I thought this was a great art extension that is worth sharing. Mrs. Reary gave each of her children a coffee filter and taught them how to fold it and cut out shapes to make a snowflake. Then they painted it with the same cool colors we used in art class. They finished their project by writing about it and then mounting everything on black paper. They even added silver glitter for a sparkly winter look.

1st Grade Extension: Snowmen

If you read my last post about Mrs. Gerber's writing activity, I also found this other great integration while walking down the same first grade hall! Miss Bowcutt's class had created these cute little snowmen using tear art. Learning to tear paper in a circular shape is very good for children's fine motor skills and it is very difficult! These are especially cute with the different hats and earmuffs! This activity would be fun to try with almost any age level.

1st Grade Extension: Winter Writing

A few weeks ago, the day after we did our winter scene's in art, I was walking down the first grade hall and I stumbled upon this great pictures and stories created by Mrs. Gerber's class! I was amazed at the pictures and I asked her if she had shown them what to do, and she said no! She asked them to draw a winter picture and they drew the trees, the little deer, bunnies, snowmen and stars that we had created in art. Then they wrote a great little "winter" essay. I was amazed to see how well they remembered how to create "branches" on the tree, the little snowman arms, and the deer antlers!

In the BTS/ALP (Beverley Taylor Soreson Arts Learning Program) this is exactly the type of art integration that we hope the teachers are making in the language arts, math, social studies and science lessons. We know that art helps kids learn! Kudos to Mrs. Gerber for a great extension. Her kids are the winners!

1st Grade Extension: Little Clay Penguins

Ok... this has been one of my favorite projects of all time. Sometimes it seems like all the projects are my favorite, but there is something about 1st graders and little cute animals that just warms your heart. Miss Eberhard's class had been studying penguins the entire month of January and so I asked her if I could test this project with her class. We took the last 1o minutes of their regular art time and I showed them the pictures of little penguins doing fun things in the book "Penguin Pete". I gave each child a little ball of Crayola "Model Magic" clay. We learned how to make penguins with basic forms. First we made a little egg shape, then we added little wings, feet, and a nose. If the children had extra clay, they made little baby penguins. After allowing the penguins to dry for a week, the children came back, painted their penguins and then we added little google eyes. Later, we added a coat of sealer to give them a nice shine.

After trying ii out with Miss Eberhard's class, we also made little penguins in Mrs. Rutledge's, Mrs. Evans' and Mrs. Peterson's classes.

Model Magic is fun to work with. If a child breaks off a nose or a wing, it is easy to fix just by gluing it back on with any white glue. This is a great little project that is fun for almost any age group.

Kindergarten: The wind is cool. The sun is warm.

If you have walked down the hall by the art room lately, you will have noticed these captivating art prints created by the Kindergarten children at East Elementary. We learned about the wind and the sun as we read the book "Dona Flor" by Pat Mora. We finger-painted spirals and curvy lines on white boards using either warm or cool colors and then we made “prints” of our spirals by putting paper on top of our paint. The children were amazing as they learned this very early form of printing. When we left class we "became the wind" as we floated quietly down the hall. The children loved this activity and the resulting artwork is just beautiful.

Core Tie-in: Literacy

Art Concepts: Cool Colors and Warm Colors

Vocabulary: Cool, Warm, Texture

Kindergarten Drawing Birds with Mona Brooks

We had fun combining shapes and simple lines to create these beautiful pencil drawings of birds perched in a tree complete with leaves and berries. This drawing lesson come from the book "Teaching Children to Draw" by Mona Brooks. This is a great resource for parents and for teachers. The children are so excited when they finish their picture and see what they have drawn. This is a favorite lesson for both teachers and students.

Core Tie-in: Literacy, Science, Nature

Art Concepts: Line, Shape, Organic

Vocabulary Words: Line, Shape, Wing, Beak, Berries, Feathers

Friday, February 4, 2011

1st Grade Winter Art

The first grade art projects created during January were beautiful! Each group of classes selected their own "winter" themed art project and then each class displayed their artwork in the gym as decorations for the first grade program. If you get a chance, come visit the school and see all the beautiful work while it is still up. I am going to share a few highlights about each art project.

This was a busy week for us. There was no school on Monday so we started in on Tuesday. Miss Eberhard's and Miss Bowcutt's classes painted beautiful winter trees with snowmen and little cardinals. I was nervous about teaching this class because I had never done such a detailed painting with such young children, but they turned out great! We had almost every paintbrush in the classroom dirty before we were done and Miss Bowcutt was amazing as she helped wash all the brushes for Miss Eberhard's class that followed. The children learned a lot of fun painting techniques including how to make tree branches and then to create objects from simple shapes. We also learned how to make shadows. This was a fun and beautiful project.

On Wednesday Mrs. Zirker's and Mrs. Reary's classes painted Cardinals in the snow. This was a "close-up" view of a tree branch from one of the trees in the winter scene pictures. We learned to make tree branches with"bumpy" organic lines and then we created our cardinals by painting basic shapes. We used a new kind of "cake" tempera for the black accents and the beaks. This classic winter picture is a favorite and the children did a great job!

The next day, Mrs. Gerber's and Mrs. Percival's classes created beautiful pictures using a white oil pastel on white paper. We practiced making tree branches first, then we drew trees, a snowman, a bunny and a deer. We got to practice drawing branches on the snowman for arms, and then on the deer for antlers. We made stars in the sky using simple shapes. Finally we painted the entire picture with beautiful hues of violet and blue creating a sparkly winter scene. This was one of my favorite projects because it was so simple and yet so beautiful. Mrs. Gerber extended this project by going back to her classroom and having her children write about it. I will post more pictures of her project in the next few days. I was amazed at how well her children integrated important elements from this art lesson.

Finally, on Friday we created penguins with Mrs. Peterson's, Mrs. Evans' and Mrs. Ruteledge's classes. This was a totally different activity than the earlier classes. We looked at books about penguins. We painted a snow scene and then we started painting with "scissors" to create penguins that were jumping and sliding in our snow. We talked about basic shapes and how we could use them to create art. This was very fun and the children had a good time trying to figure out how to make their penguin slide down the hill. In the last 10 minutes of class we each had a chance to make a little "clay" penguin by combining spheres and egg shapes. I will post pictures of the little clay penguins in another post. These were very very cute. Every child got to take their little penguin with them back to class.

This was a very busy week, but as the display was put together for the program, it was fun to see so many projects and also to see the quality of the work. I think that the children are creating amazing art for their age level and I have to give credit to the "art" climate that is becoming more and more evident in our school.

As I see the classroom teachers doing more and more integrated projects with their children and using the art principles they learn by doing side-by-side teaching, the children are gaining more confidence and they are really becoming amazing artists.

I want to thank the parents and teachers who support the art program in our school. During the next few weeks I will try to post teacher extensions on this blog. These extensions are art projects that the teachers are doing with your children outside of art class... and most of them correlate with core subjects, reading, math, social studies and science.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

1st Grade Snowflakes with Cool Colors

The first grade had a wonderful time mixing and blending cool icy colors as they created this beautiful watercolor painting of a snowflake dancing in a river of blue. We had a wonderful time looking at actual photographs of snowflakes, reading stories about snow and talking about how a snowflake is formed. The theme for the first grade program was "WINTER" and every 1st grader created a snowflake picture to help set the mood for a frigid January in the Uintah Basin.

Cool Color Extension

In a very interesting extension, Mrs. Gordon, a 2nd grade teacher at East, taught her 2nd graders how to change their cool color painting into 3-D art. Her children cut their original painting into 4 equal strips and then glued them on construction paper in a bumpy pattern. They were really concerned about "ruining" their picture but she assured them that it would turn out great! These look fabulous!