Monday, January 7, 2013

Peanuts - 2nd Grade at Neola

With a short week and the beginning of a new year, I had the chance to visit Neola Elementary School and create a collaborative lesson with Mrs. Parry.  Her class had been studying about George Washington Carver, so we decided to spend some time exploring the peanut plant.   When I arrived, her students told me everything they knew about George Washington Carver.  Did you know that he invented over 300 products using peanuts?  Mrs. Parry's students knew more about George Washington Carver than I did!   We decided that it would be fun to explore peanuts and how they grow.  This lesson ties in nicely with the 2nd grade science core.  We made sure that none of the children had  peanut allergies before we started the next part of the lesson.

To start our scientific evaluation,  we opened a bag of peanuts that were still in the shells.  We looked at the peanuts, broke them open, felt the texture and then we drew them.  We learned that peanuts are a LEGUME, not a nut.

After we had spent time observing peanuts, we decided to start drawing them.  We practiced drawing a peanut with pencil on manila drawing paper.  We drew curly roots and lots of peanuts underground. We drew the plant and flower above ground with a cutaway view.  Once we had all practiced, we did our final piece of art using oil pastels on 80 lb. white art paper.

Finally we painted our picture with watercolors, brown for the earth and blue for the sky.  The results were very lovely and the children were thrilled.

The inspiration for this painting came from this website:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Beautiful 2nd Grade Pottery


We painted our pottery with earth tone colors, including gold and silver to give it a bit of holiday sparkle.  The children working so carefully on their painting this year and the overall results were simply beautiful.


It was fun to see the beautiful color and symbolic designs on each pot. 

Once the paint was dry we added a coat of clear varnish to give each pot a nice shine.  Needless to say, the children were thrilled with their beautiful pottery.

Clay Month at East

The entire school worked with clay during the last month before the Holidays.  The Kindergarten classes made little pinch pots and texture medallions.  The first graders made large texture medallions/ornaments and little pinch pots.  The second graders studied the pottery traditions of the Ute tribe, and decorated their pinch pots with traditional native American symbols.

There is something magical about working with clay.  We learned how to center our clay, create a sphere, and get the feel of the clay in our hands.  

Our 2nd graders learned how to make simple pinch pots and then  carved into the clay with different tools to create different types of texture and designs.

We learned about symbolic language and each child was able to look at a reference sheet to get ideas about how to decorate their pottery.  We allowed the pots to dry for two weeks and then we painted them using colors of the earth.  More photos will follow!