Friday, November 16, 2012

2nd Grade Arctic Habitat

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.

2nd Grade Rainforest Habitat

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.

Integration:  Science/Habitats
English Language Arts Common Core W.5.1  Writing

Thursday, November 15, 2012

2nd Grade Desert Habitat

Desert Habitat Journal Pages

I first got the idea for this project after attending numerous art conventions, but I didn't really know how to use an art journal on the elementary level.  Last spring, my mentor and colleague, JoAnn Memmott, showed me her 4th grade ideas for doing a habitat art journal.  I was excited at the prospect of increasing writing in the 2nd grade here at East, and I wondered if our children could do similar projects but on a simpler level.

So, with major adaptations, and only remembering a brief glimpse of what JoAnn had done, I created this desert habitat pop up page.

The following pictures are 2nd grade children's work.  First we glued several pages in the book together to create a sturdier page to paint on.  Then we  painted the two page spread with yellow tempera, blended brown tempera for sand and added a golden sun.  The children colored a spiral snake and glued him in the book to create a pop-up feature.  I had left over textured paper from our Eric Carle project last year, so each child created cactus in the using textured paper and glued it down.  They LOVED this project.

This is 3nd grade student work.  The snakes were printed on cardstock and the students just colored them and cut them out.  They did need to color both sides of the snake, because when it pops out, both sides are exposed.  The children just added simple patterns and I gave them a lot of freedom.

For the journaling activity, the children will write about the desert habitat in the 
yellow background or on a different page.  

The above picture is a photo of my personal book.  I wrote a little story about deserts in the yellow sky so the children could understand how to use their book for art journaling.  The classroom teachers will be working with the children on the  writing portion of this art project. I used this book to show the children some ideas about how to create a desert habitat.  This was very simple painting as I was trying to make it colorful and attractive, but still on the level of 2nd grade children.  This was my first book, but  I actually ended up with 7 different art journals,  all a little different and I use them to model different pages for each class.  Every book is a treasure.   

For JoAnn's Fourth grade lesson plan on Utah Deserts, please follow this link.

Memmott's Art Ideas

Monday, November 12, 2012

2nd Grade Recycled Art Journals

For the last two months, the 2nd graders have been working on these fabulous recycled art journals.  

In our BTS/ALP (Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program) school, we create collaborative lessons to integrate visual art instruction with core subjects.  For this lesson, I have focused on creating art projects that teach science principles  and the classroom teacher will be focusing on helping the students write about their art in the classroom.  We have been  studying the changes that come with the seasons, and also the habitats around the world.  This has been one of the most rewarding and fun projects that I have ever participated in.

About two months ago, we started with the monumental task of acquiring about 250 books that were suitable for recycling!  We scoured the discards at libraries, went to yard sales, asked for donations and visited thrift stores.  Parents and teachers all helped locate the books.  At one point, we didn't know if we would be able to pull this off and get enough books, but almost miraculously we got enough books so every child could create their very own art journal.

Our goal in selecting books was that the book was appropriate for children, had a hard cover, and had very few pictures.  We wanted the pages to have a neutral background that would provide nice texture, but not too much distraction for the artwork.

Getting all the books ready was a huge task.  We painted the covers with black acrylic paint and then let them dry before we gave them to the students.   All of the classroom teachers helped me with this project.  We painted about 50 to 60 books each day until we were finished.

For the very first art lesson with our journal, we learned  how to draw leaves by doing observational drawing in our sketchbook.  

The students created beautiful texture leaves by tracing their drawing of a leaf onto the metal with a stylus.  They retraced each line several times to make a deep impression in the leaf.  Finally,  they cut out the leaf with scissors and glued in on the cover with tacky glue. We antiqued the leaf by rubbing it with a bit of black acrylic paint before we put mod-podge over the top.

The next week, we came back to art and started to create paintings within our book.  Some of the pages are designed to be background for writing projects and will give the students the opportunity to write about habitats.  We will share more of that in future posts.

Meanwhile, I don't know when we have had an art project that has generated such excitement. The children absolutely LOVE their books! They are excited about the art we do each week within the pages of the book.

We are finishing up this project now, but we will add little things to the book throughout the year. The teachers will also use these journals in the classroom to give the students a chance to publish their writing within the pages of the journal.

The only downside to this project is that we don't have cool pictures to post on the walls of the school. The positive side of that is that their paintings are in a book... something that is protected and loved!

If you want to see the fun projects we have done in these journals, please check back soon.  I will be adding more posts over the next few weeks.