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.

1 comment:

Bridget said...

I absolutely Love LOVE Love these!