At the beginning of each lesson I have the children come into the room and start drawing in their sketchbook as a self-start activity. Then we turn to the back of the book and draw little sketches together for a few minutes. I use this time to help the children practice drawing and also to help them understand important things about lesson. This is the first year I have done sketchbook with 1st grade students and I have found that our sketchbook activity has really helped the children gain confidence int their artistic abilities. I am amazed at how well each child is doing. At the end of each sketching assignment I try to go around the room and stamp each child's book with a fun rubber stamp that matches the lesson. This offers an instant reward for the child, but it also gives me the chance to check each child's work to actually see how they are doing and also to give them positive encouragement.
In the first part of the lesson we were learning about the sun and the moon as we reviewed important elements of the science core and math core as we were creating art. We learned that sometimes the earth casts a shadow on the moon and that the moon changes during the month. We talked about folk art and we looked at different ways the sun and moon are portrayed in art, some with triangle shaped rays, and some with curvy lines. Then we each created our own sun and moon art using oil pastels in warm and cool colors.
We made a giant color wheel hall for our art show and we posted some of the pictures on the warm end of the hall and some on the cool end! It was fun for the children to walk down the hall... starting with fire and ending in ice!