Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Large Scale Collaborative Backdrop

I am so proud of these students for tackling such an enormous project! We had a blast working on this (giant!) backdrop for the annual whole school music performance as part of our after school art club. 

The theme for this year's music performance was based on the book The Kapok Tree by Abigail Thomas. The students used the book for inspiration in order to start their design. They each chose which animals, plants, and rain forest flowers they would like to draw and set to work drawing and planning out their ideas. 

Each drawing was individually scanned and uploaded to PhotoShop so we could piece together the final image as a whole. (This was a very similar process to how another group of students took part in the Library Mural from a previous post) The students decided on the final scene below after copying, pasting, and rearranging their drawings on PhotoShop.  

Once the final scene was complete the image was projected onto large rolled canvas that I had previously cut and hung in the gym. The students then traced their original drawings on a larger scale. When the tracing was complete we laid out the canvas and started by painting the tree and background first. Details in the plants and animals were added last. 

This small group of students worked so hard, they even dedicated their lunch recess to come in to paint! Their enthusiasm, creativity, and effort was appreciated by all! 

Stop Motion Animation with iPads

I have been wanting to try out stop motion animation with my students for some time now, but I have always been a bit intimidated to do so. I was not very familiar with the different apps available, I did not have access to iPads at school, and I just wasn't quite sure how to put it all together successfully into a lesson. However, I knew my students would be absolutely thrilled to try something new so I started researching and downloading different apps and experimenting with them at home. I also came across this amazing guide to stop motion animation in the art room: A Complete Guide to Stop Motion Animation . This was such a huge help to planning out my lesson!

I ended up having students bring iPads from home since we did not have them available at school. Students who did not have iPads borrowed mine or shared with a partner. To introduce the lesson we looked at a variety of stop motion animation videos and discussed them as a group. I also showed the students this great tutorial for Stop Motion Studio (the app we used in class) by Watchwaddle on YouTube:

The students were then ready to write out their stories, plan characters and materials, and design their sets. Each student chose something different to work with and all of their stories were unique! I had a student use legos, another brought in stuffed animals from home, some worked with clay, while others wanted to draw and color their own characters.

We had so much fun with this! I am looking forward to incorporating iPads in the art room more frequently in the future with a variety of fun apps for students to experiment with. I am excited to share about what we are up to next!

Movement Unit

My second graders started this unit by inquiring into movement and body shapes within art. They began by comparing and contrasting different artists and how movement is portrayed in a variety of ways and styles. Our focus was on Keith Haring and we discussed the simple contour lines and shapes within his work. The students then set off in their sketchbooks drawing poses of their choice, practicing different lines and shapes to show their chosen movements. Before we started sketching, we viewed this short animated clip of Haring's work. It definitely inspired some new poses as well as dance moves!  


After the initial practice sketches, the students were split up into small groups of 3 or 4 students. As a group, they needed to design a body shape in a moving pose of their choice. They also needed to decide on colors and details that would influence the feeling of their final piece. Once students had practiced and designed in their sketchbooks, they recreated their plans on a larger scale and the real fun could begin! 

One person from each group was traced on large paper in the pose their group had chosen. They worked together to add their colors, lines, shapes, and designs.   

When all their work was finished each group presented their final piece to the class describing their final title and artistic choices within the piece. During critique we also discussed our accomplishments as well as any challenges we faced while working as a group. The students loved talking about each other's final work and had a lot of questions for one another. They were very proud of what they had accomplished together! 

Process Art

Who doesn't love process art? I love the freedom that comes with experimenting from a variety of mediums, techniques, and materials. The possibilities are endless and the students are always thrilled with their success as well as their new discoveries!

This year during my nursery class we had been learning about color mixing and handling new materials to work on fine motor skills. In order to reinforce their learning the students set out on a large scale multi-media adventure!

Large pieces of white butcher paper were laid out on tables including an assortment of paints and materials. The students could trade places as they worked the only rule was to share what was available at each table. Some students were hesitant at first, but in the end we all enjoyed getting a bit messy!

The large papers were painted, printed, collaged, and glittered on for four lessons in a row. The students were not afraid to cover up previous work and layers were added throughout each lesson. Their final masterpieces are a true work of art! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Dot Day Collaborative Painting

Back in September, my PYP classes celebrated International Dot Day with Peter H. Reynold's fabulous book "The Dot". I had posted previously about the dots that my PYP 1 and PYP 2 students created that were then framed to make an installation piece. I would also like to share what my PYP 4 students were creating during that same time as it was good fun and resulted in some beautiful work!

We had just finished up discussing Kandinsky and his famous circles while reviewing color mixing and complementary colors, so International Dot Day was a perfect time to put previous knowledge to good use!

To start off we read the book "The Dot" together and discussed the students thoughts about the story.
We focused on how mistakes in art should be thought of as an opportunity to make something new, not an excuse to give up.

I then split the students into two groups and gave each group a large piece of paper. Each group was instructed to make a circle painting full of patterns and colors of their choice, while being supportive and respectful of all their group members.

The students shared their ideas and worked hard together to create these colorful master pieces! 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Pinch Pot Turtles

As an introduction to clay this year with my PYP 3 class, we began by discussing pinch pots and clay vocabulary as a stand alone unit. I demonstrated for the students how to create a pinch pot by rolling the clay into a ball and pressing my thumb in the middle. I found this great visual on Pinterest and had it posted in my classroom for reference while the students were creating their pots.

I then showed the students how to slip and score in order to securely attach clay pieces to their finished pinch pot and our beautiful turtles were born! I absolutely love these! 

Texture Monsters

At the beginning of the school year the focus for P1 students is learning about and experimenting with the elements of art, then using that knowledge throughout the rest of the year to inform their work.

This lesson was started after the students played a short game involving different textures. I had a box filled with different materials and labels on the classroom carpet with words like "soft" "hard" "rough" or "bumpy". The students took turns taking an item from the box and deciding which texture word it fit with best.

After our game and discussing how each item felt, I began demonstrating what visual texture is by using a textured plate and rubbing it with crayons. The students practiced doing this multiple times in their classroom sketchbooks as seen below:

When the students finished their texture rubbings, we met back on the carpet and read the book Where The Wild Things Are. As we were reading together, I would stop and ask the students what kinds of textures they could imagine with the different monsters throughout the story.

After reading and discussing the variety of imaginative monsters, the students worked in their sketchbooks to create their own creature with a variety of line and visual texture using crayons, markers, and textured plates.

Here are a few examples of their finished textured monsters. I love the creative results!