Friday, September 23, 2011

Color Wheel Week

It is color wheel week! We are having fun playing with mixing color. The kindergarten classes are making color wheels from Play-doh and the first grade classes are creating swirling clouds of color with powdered paint and ice cubes! There is always that thrilling moment when the children start to mix the colors and a new color appears like magic! This is fun for children of all ages.

The first grade classes made this little hurricane color wheel using powdered paint and ice cubes. I saw this idea at an art conference four years ago, but I had never tried it until now. I will definitely do this again. It was fun for the children and it was a great science experiment for them. The children learned problem solving techniques as well as cause and effect. To start, we gave each child 3 little piles of paint in the primary colors. This color wheel was mixed using an ice cube with a popsicle stick frozen into it. As the ice cube started to melt, it was just wet enough to mix the paint. We tried this many different ways, and the best way was to just start with yellow, pretending that there was a little hurricane that gradually moved over to to the red, then gradually moved over to the blue and then back again to the yellow. The best color wheels were made fairly quickly, without stopping. If the ice cube melts too quickly it just makes a big mess. If the child tries to clean off the ice cube between colors, it seemed to cause more problems because they lost "the flow" of the project. Ideally, each child will create a color wheel with 6 colors... starting with yellow, moving to orange, red, purple, blue and then green! This was fabulously fun! I like to do it over and over again just to play with the colors and see the magic happen before my eyes.

We tied this project in with a story about a big blue OX. The next week we drew a red FOX and then we created a yellow BOX creating art with all three primary colors, but still reinforcing rhyming words and focusing on literacy. All of our are lessons this year are tying into basal reading stories and reinforcing elements of the English Language Arts Common Core as well as science, social studies and math whenever possible.

Here are a few finished color wheels.

The children are so proud of their work!

Here, the kindergarten children are showing off their little play-dough color wheels. This is a favorite project. We read "White Rabbits Color Book" before we mixed our color wheels. Again, we just used the 3 primary colors to create all the colors on the color wheel. The kindergarten children were especially delighted as they saw new colors appear before their eyes!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Constellations, Wild Things and Pattern Cats

We are back to school and having fun with our artwork!

The 2nd graders have been studying space and they have been creating these beautiful constellation pictures based on the book Zoo in the Sky published by the National Geographic Society.

This first picture is a lovely bird of paradise floating in the sky.

Here we have Draco...

And finally the lovely swan, Cygnus.

This has to be one of my all-time favorite art projects. Every one is so beautiful!
For a copy of my lesson plan follow the following link:

While the 2nd graders were busy creating constellations, the 1st graders were learning how to draw cats with basic shapes. This art project was based on the first story in our basal reader, Sam Come Back! Once we finished drawing our cats, we added pattern! The cute little mouse was a creative touch!

... And the Kindergartner's were having the most fun of all! We read the favorite story, Where the Wild Things Are, and then we created our very own Wild Thing pictures!