Saturday, November 19, 2011

Raccoons and Curvy Communities

2nd Grade Animals and Habitats:  If you want to see some beautiful artwork you will want to come visit our school in the next few weeks.  The 2nd grade classes are working on a project that is simply unbelievable.  As part of a science unit, each class is learning about and creating art about different animals and the habitats they live in.  

These cute little raccoons were drawn by a student in Mrs. Brockman's 2nd grade.  Each 2nd grade class is learning about different habitats and  the students are learning to draw elements of the habitat within the outline shape of an animal.  Once we have our little illustrations done, we will be adding pattern to the backgrounds.  This is a very fun work of integrated art.  Watch for more photos to come!

 First Grade Curvy Community:  The first graders are reading a story about different people who work in their neighborhoods.  As an extension, we are learning about curvy lines and we created this beautiful pattern art with fun elements of design.  In contrast with the straight lines we drew in our Mondrian artwork, this  art is all CURVES!!!!

 Each child in the first grade created curvy community complete with curvy kids, curvy cars, curvy toys, curvy food, curvy roads, curvy rivers and curvy wind.

The children had a lot of fun with this artwork and they took a lot of ownership as they were thinking up things to draw in their picture.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Math Art and Ladybugs

Some of the first grade teachers at East Elementary school have using art to help reinforce concepts in math and writing. I walked down the hall and took a picture of a few student samples. Each child created their very own little math problem and then created a little ladybug picture to solve the problem. This kind of artwork can be used in a variety ways to teach all kinds of math problems. Older children could practice multiplication by counting the dots on the ladybugs backs, or by figuring out how many legs each ladybug has.

There are 4 lady bugs on th grass and 2 down in the dirt. How many are there altogether?

5 ladybugs are on the grass and 1 is on the ground. How many altogether?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gyotaku Fish Printing

The first graders had a wonderful time over the last two weeks creating these beautiful fish prints. This lesson went along with a story in the first grade reading book and this lesson also reinforced social studies and science concepts.

We broke this project into two sessions. The first week we learned about Japan and we shared stories about how this art was developed and why it was useful and fun. We studied the wood block print of The Great Wave by Hokusai and talked about how the printing process was developed for both books and art. During the last part of the lesson we learned how to draw a fish by sketching one in our sketchbook.

The next week when came to art, we broke into small groups and each child took turns creating two prints after the fish was painted with acrylic paint. Two wild fish that were donated by Mrs. Peterson's son and we also bought Tilapia from the local grocery store. I kept one fish paint free for the children to touch and explore.

While the students were waiting their turn to paint, I had an assortment of books about fish and Japan for them to look at. About mid-week, I could see that they needed more to hold their attention, so I created a center with oil based clay. Each child was given a small cube to play with and I showed them how to make a little fish with the clay. This was really fun for the children and kept them occupied, mostly quiet, and very happy while they were waiting to paint.

In past years we have used tempera paint, but the acrylic paint is vibrant and pretty and creates excellent prints with vibrant colors. I think many of these prints are good enough to frame! Each child took one print home that day and the other print will be kept in their file to display for the spring art show.

1st and 2nd Grade Texture Pumpkins

The 2nd graders studied the life cycle of the pumpkin to tie in with both a story in their reading book and also the 2nd grade science core.

One of my favorite things about the Fall season is drawing pumpkins. It is our first real lesson in observational drawing. As part of the lesson I bought seven real pumpkins so that each group of children would have a pumpkin close enough to enable each child to be able to touch and explore the pumpkin. We find the blossom end, and feel the stems, the ribs and bumps. We look for interesting details on each pumpkin that might be fun to draw. We had fun learning how to draw with a fine permanent marker. If the student makes a mistake, they have to figure out a way to incorporate it into the overall picture. Once we drew the basic pumpkin, we added some fun pattern to mimic shading and add texture to our design. Some of the children added faces by drawing simple shapes and then filling the shapes with pattern. After the children finished drawing their pumpkin, they painted them with watercolors. This a a charming project and one of our favorites!

While the 2nd graders were using sharpies, the 1st grade classes were doing a similar project with oil pastels. This project is really fun! I used to do it with kindergarten classes, but I feel like it lends itself a little better to first grade, so I took a few years off and reintroduced it this year. In this lesson we talked about line, shape, texture, pattern and color!

We drew the basic outline of the pumpkin and then colored each section a different color and added pattern and texture. The tendency for this age group is to draw a symbolic pumpkin with a circle and a square little stem so our main goal for this project was to create pumpkins with interesting shapes and realistic looking stems! The pumpkin on the upper left was drawn by Mrs. Rutledge and all of the other pumpkins were created by 1st grade students.

The following pictures show two books that are great resources when teaching this lesson.

This book is a beautiful book with stunning photography showing the life cycle of the pumpkin. It is perfect for teaching with a scientific approach.

This book has whimsical illustrations showing beautiful artistic pumpkins throughout the entire book! I love this book and it ties in beautifully with this lesson.

Fun Art Integration Ideas from Classroom Teachers

There is an ART to good spelling! Mrs. Brockman had a great idea to make spelling practice fun for her 2nd grade students. Instead of writing lists to practice, she created some different "artsy" pictures based on some of our art projects and other topics she wanted to reinforce for her students. When it came time to practice, the students got to write their spelling words on these interesting pictures and turn their spelling into art!

This picture was based on our Zoo in the Sky art lesson! It is a fun way to practice spelling words.

Spelling is out of this world!

This picture teaches a math principle at the same time the student practices spelling! This is a great double integration!

The students in Mrs. Brockman's class LOVE to practice spelling!

This is a great example of a writing project for first grade students. Mrs. Brinkerhoff read a book to her class on the life cycle of the pumpkin, and then helped each student write and illustrate a simple story with 5 parts. This is a good way to introduce writing to elementary students because the pictures are part of the writing process and it helps the students organize their thoughts.

This is another fun first grade writing/art project that is a favorite of Mrs. Peterson. Each student created a spider web by dipping a marble in white paint and then letting the marble roll around inside a box lined with a black piece of paper. The spiders in this project were copied and colored by the students and glued on the web. Each child then wrote about their project. This is a great authentic writing experience because the children were able to write about something they created and it makes it more meaningful for the child.

In the BTS Arts Learning Program, the teachers are encouraged to integrate art as much as possible while teaching language arts.