Monday, March 25, 2013

4th grade Mini-Matisse

I went to a TEAE regional mini-conference during the summer (2012) and came back with this great lesson!  It was a great way to introduce the work of Henri Matisse and try our hand at "drawing with scissors!"

Fourth graders learned about Henri Matisse through a PowerPoint and using a classroom "Getting to Know the Artist" poster.  Then, I demonstrated how to cut the shapes out from the center of each small rectangle.  We reviewed positive and negative space as we glue down the pieces that had the centers cut out of them.  After those pieces were glue down, we experimented with placement of the cutout shapes.  Students were guided not to glue a piece on top of one of the same color.  The last step was to use black construction paper and cut out lines, swirls, broken lines, and glue those on top.  I mounted their finished pieces on black construction paper.

Lesson Details:
White background paper 11X8 inches
Each rectangle of colored paper was precut to 2 3/4 X 4in
Black construction paper for mounting was 12X9 inches

Here are some pictures of our artwork:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

5th grade Symmetrical Bugs!

I went to the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) conference in 2011 in Galveston, TX.  It was my first year teaching and I was so excited to be a part of the art teacher community!  At that conference, I attended a workshop that presented this lesson.  I was glad to finally use it this year with my fifth graders.  I tweaked a few things here and there to add my own spin to it.

I started by teaching about patterns, emphasis, and balance.  We examined insects and how their bodies are symmetrical. Students were asked to look for patterns, colors, and to make observations about the insects.  The next step was to create our space on heavy watercolor paper cut to 12X12 inches.  We measured a double border and outlined it with black sharpie.  This was quite a challenge!  It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be for students to measure using the rulers!  Once a few students who caught on quickly finished, they helped other students and we all got our borders drawn!

Next, students lightly drew a line of symmetry down their interior space.  I had a bunch of black and white clip art pictures of insects on a two-sided paper and passed those out for references.

The objectives:
1.  Students would draw a bug from a the top side and make it symmetrical.  They were not allowed to use rulers.  I guided them in noticing the positive and negative space created by the insect, hoping it would help them keep the line of symmetry.
2. Create an interesting pattern or design on the insect.  The design was not to be realistic, but it did need to be symmetrical on each side.
3. Create emphasis by making the insect the most important visual aspect of the work.  Students could create a design in the border, background, and add color using colored pencils and watercolor, but the insect needed to be the main focus.
Here are some examples of our work:

3rd Grade Pop Art Prints

I started this school year with different types of portraits in each grade level.  My school has a theme every year and this year our theme was "Superheros" and we have focused on finding our personal strengths and acknowledging the strengths or others. 

So, to me, it made sense to lead the year off with self-portraits to build on how we are each unique with our strengths, interests, and beauty. 

In third grade, I decided to go with a pop art Andy Warhol style printmaking portrait.  I spent the first day of class taking their individual photos while they worked on getting their sketchbook covers completed.  I printed the  3x5 inch photos in black and white.

I lead a discussion about the Pop Art movement, who Andy Warhol was, and how he used printmaking.  We looked at several examples of portraits that he created.  Then, I showed them the steps we would be using to create our portraits. 
1. Tape Styrofoam on the back of photo.
2. Trace the contour lines of your faces with a dull pencil, pressing hard.
3. Lift the photo and check to see if you missed any lines before removing the photo.
4. Once all lines are traced, remove the photo and retrace your lines to make them deeper.
5. Paint over the Styrofoam with florescent paints (quickly)
6. Press down color construction paper onto the Styrofoam and then lift.  Make at least 4 prints and more if needed.  Each student needed 4 good prints for this project.
7. Mount four prints onto large piece of construction paper and sign your name.
Here are some pictures of the process:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

5th grade Tessellations

Fifth grade just finished up a lesson on tessellations.  Once again, I found inspiration on Pinterest and the many, many, post about tessellations.  I actually am a huge Escher fan, so I went looking for great examples of tessellations and found many on Pinterest.
I started the lesson by showing a cute short video about Tessellations which has a cartoon version of Escher sitting at his desk thinking and designing.
Here is the link:
We also played a online tessellation game on the smartboard.
Here is that link:
After we experimented, I showed the process of creating a tessellation with a 2 inch square of card stock.  I used my document camera and projector to show what I was doing.

Here is a handy video showing the process, if you haven't ever tried it:

Here are some finished works of art:



Razorbacks and Dinosaurs!




Moles with Hard Hats!


Flying Pigs!

Some of my students wanted a challenge!  So, I had them create a one inch grid, cut a small shape out of card stock and trace it in each square, then create a value scale of one color for the background and a value scale of a different color for the small shape.  The value scales went opposite of each other.  It wasn't quite the definition of a tessellation, but the results were great!

She said this was her favorite project she has done all year! 






Fish!  This student wanting to leave one fish white to create emphasis!

Blue Dolphins and Green Frogs!