Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kindergarten, 1st and 5th grade - crayons, markers and scissors

Continuing my art teaching for Kindergarten, 1st Grade and 5th Grade at my daughters school, today's lessons couldn't use paint, water, or brushes because the art room was in use.   So I made up an Art Cart for the day, and went on my way!

Don't forget Friday is Spirit Day!
I had to be creative and come up with projects that primarily used crayons, scissors, pencils or other art supplies that weren't messy or couldn't fit on my cart.

Kindergarten - Drawing Small Flower Pots
Objective - Students will be looking at the lip, feet and size of flower pots to identify shapes and draw them from observation.

For the lesson today, I brought in small (3 or 4 inch) different looking flower pots and filled them with white daisy flowers.  I put one flower pot in the middle of each table that held 4 students. 

We talked first about proportions, because while the physical pots were very small, I wanted them to make their pots and flower fill their whole page.

I also asked them to use their imaginations and draw flowers that were different colors then the white daisies in the pots.  I showed them oversized flower paintings from Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O'Keefe, and Frida Kahlo and talked about how many colors each artist used in their paintings.  Since we did Primary Colors last lesson, and pretty much stuck with one flower shape, I wanted to give them free range on their imagination.

Once everyone had their paper, we started by talking about all the different shapes of the pots that were in front of them, and how to make those shapes on our paper.  We traced out the lip first, then did our sides, and finally added the feet of our pot.

They went to work on their flowers alone and here are some of the end results.

None of our pots had handles, but this student added them.

A green pot with rainbow flower

This student made sure to also draw the table, just like in the Van Gogh.
1st Grade - Zany Imaginative Animals 
Objective - Recognizing and drawing the unique characteristics which define an animal.

Because we had drawn specifically from Andy Warhol's Soup Cans last time, this week the first graders got a chance to let their imaginations go wild...literally.

The critical part of the lesson I wanted them to leave with today was knowing how to identify characteristics of an animal and draw them well enough so that others can recognize what it is.  We talked about what is a characteristic and how can we identify the uniqueness of them on certain animals? 

I asked them what is the one thing that makes the giraffe different then any other animal?  Its neck!  What makes a lion different?  Its mane!  And an alligator?  Its jaws!  Well, what if you took all those animals and put them together to make one?

Yes, it would look like a very silly, zany, wacky thing, but would the person that is next to you be able to identify the different animals from the characteristics drawn?

Once each child had made their animal, they presented it to the class.  All their classmates raised their hands and had a chance to guessed 3 of the animals drawn.  Some students only did a few combinations, while other's creations had up to 7 heads and multiple body parts sticking out.

See if you can guess some of these animals from the characteristics drawn by our master artists:
Do you see an elephant trunk?  Lion's tail?  Cheetah body?  What else?

Do you see an elephant head?  Bee's body?  Cheetah legs?  What else?

Do you see an alligator head?  Chicken legs?  Stegosaurus spikes?  What else?

Do you see a zebra body?  Frog legs?  Bunny face?  What else?

5th Grade - Cutting Polish Leluja
Objective - Students learn about the Polish Wycinanki (pronounced vie-chee-non-key) art form, and more speciacially the Leluja (le-lu-ya), which is cut from a piece of paper folded lengthwise.

According to Wikipedia:
Wycinanki originated with Polish shepherds cutting designs out of tree bark and leather. Colorful wycinanki were pasted on furniture or roof beams as decoration, hung in windows, and given as gifts.

The primary lesson for today is to learn about symmetry and how to create it using positive and negative space.  And the fist step is to match up the corners perfectly, otherwise the fold will not be in the exact middle of the page.  Symmetry will not occur otherwise.

I showcased a few leluja designs from Poland so the kids would get layout ideas.  However, once they viewed the designs, I took down the images so that they would use their own imaginations and not imitate.

With perfectly folded paper, and fresh ideas, the kids took pencils and drew out their tree trunks on the fold.  I wanted them to use the tree as the central figure since it's easy to add branches and random designs to it's basic shape.

As a tip, I told them they could darken the areas of their paper that were the negative space, meaning they were going to be going away once all the cuts were done.  I also encouraged them to add animals to their trees, but not to add a lot of details to them since it would be hard to cut.

To be honest, despite the various samples I showed them, I only saw the light bulbs go off on this lesson once they cut their trees and opened up their designs.  It was then when most of the central fold cuts were added.

Once our Lelujas were  cut out, we glued them down to black construction paper and here are their results:
While this doesn't have a tree center, it still gets points for the stalactites and stalagmites.

Do you see the cat, looking up at the bird in the nest?

This tree of life is home to many, many birds.

This student put their tree in a frame.

The squirrels in the tree seems to be watching the sheep eat dinner.
Till next time, keep drawing!

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