Friday, September 30, 2011

I Am Poem and Animal Print

I think my favorite part of this lesson was adding the I am an Animal Poem.  The actual writing took the whole class period but I think it was well worth it.  The kids had so much actual fun while they were coming up with their poems.  I wish you could of seen the room, it really was so enjoyable for all of us!  Granted, this was not a spelling lesson (and I'm okay with that).  I always tell them we are not seeking perfection, it is all about the experience and enjoying what we are doing.  I loved watching them help each other out (collaborative learning) and come up with great ideas.  I try to always add some type of writing element as a reflection.  I think it adds so much more meaning  to their work.  First, we did one together as an example on the rug and then they went to their tables to start their own.  I found the I Am poem online here.  It's actually supposed to be for grade 4 but I guess it's true what they say...believing in the students makes all the difference!  These are from grade 2!

Animals and Creating Visual Texture

Here, we were still exploring the art element of visual texture.  Previously, the students made "texture plates" exploring various ways to create tactile texture.   Their challenge in this lesson was to show the animal's skin texture through repetition of certain types of lines or shapes.  I placed little plastic figurines at each table to help them with the drawing.  I think it helps to see the animal in front of  you as opposed to trying to remember  what it looks like.  That way too,  you also get so much variation with the animals they draw.  Lastly, they added a patterned border to bring focus to their animal.

Colorful Castles and Color Mixing

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In this lesson we explored the art element of color.  We talked about how colors help artists tell their stories.  When the students are thinking and working as artists, they too can use their art to tell stories that are make-believe.   We looked at Paul Klee's Castle and Sun and talked about castle walls, towers and roof tops.  What shapes could each part of the castle be? What colors could they mix from only red, yellow and blue?   They were also to include themselves in the 'story'.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Altered Books

"I think of the poem I wrote in 6th grade, Gray Rainbow.  The main idea of my book is random thought; no page is related to the other.  My favorite part is the karate page because it's very creative and looks well made."  Yianni

The selected text on left is:   I feed Zuric your checks...chex mix.
On right:  Don't be shocked

I have always wanted to do an altered book project and I felt  I had the perfect opportunity with my middle school  class as there are only 14 kids and they come 4 days in a row.   They started by laying out their page; selecting the right words is actually extremely engaging, once you try it you'll understand.   After the text was highlighted, gesso was added to the surrounding areas. This basically makes your pages stronger so it can take all of the mediums that will be applied to it.  Now they had to visualize how to portray the text into images.  
Probably one of my favorite parts of any lesson is reading the artist's thoughts about their creative process.   It gives me so much more appreciation for their work and they too gain such a better understanding of "what it all means".  You can see some excerpts from a student's art reflection card above.  I'll be adding more images to this post later this week.

CONFUSION                                                      artist: Gabriel
text selected:
Her consciousness had separated  from her man.

text selected:
She fired.

Some students decided to work with existing images while others completely blanked out the page and created their own. 

"The main idea of my altered book is confusion.  I tried to make this clear by using strong colors throughout the book and also I think the slashes add a feeling of confusion.  My favorite part of my book is being able to carve away part of the book to continue the line of the shot.  I also realized that I like seeing a picture that's already there and developing my own story from it versus writing a story first and then coming up with the pictures."

                                 WONDER                                                          artist: Joumana

"The main idea of my artwork is imagination.  I was trying to express a feeling of wonder by the use of color and texture.  My favorite part is the colors because I think they express the mood of imagining.  My book makes me think about the past and how when trouble came to me that made me stressful, imagination is the place that I would go to to make me happy." 

                                 Waking Up...To Fall Asleep                                  artist: Kelly
text selected:
...each moment we fall asleep we recognize something to be thankful for.

text selected:
...we need to wake up to find the world a safe place.

"When I was working on my book, I realized that in the past I haven't been appreciative of what I had.  That's why my book interprets the idea of waking up and taking a look at the things around you, appreciate and enjoy them because you might not find them there tomorrow."

Symbolic Prints

These prints came out awesome!  First we looked at and discussed the work of Joaquin Torres Garcia.  Through discussion, we realized that you can really tell a story through images.  The student's challenge was to draw or design  symbols  which encapsulated who they are as person. They also had to strategize as to how to use the space of the printing plate to highlight or bring focus to those things that were most important to them.  Although this lesson is not over, I wanted to share some of this great work.  I hope to be working with our Language Arts teacher to have the students create poems based on their work.  

This Week in Art...

There has been so much going on this week! Kindergarten students have been exploring the potential of crayons (pressure applied, rubbing on side, using the point, etc). First and 2nd graders have been learning about visual texture by drawing animals and trying to show their fur or skin texture. Third graders are learning about the art of paper folding with kirigami and 4th-6th graders have been working on creating symbolic prints... Whew!  Oh, and last but certainly not least,   7th and 8th graders are each creating an altered book!  Scroll down to see pictures of everyone's fabulous art!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Inquiry Based Learning

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author and aviator (1900-1945)

Inquiry implies a "need or want to know" premise. Inquiry is not so much seeking the right answer -- because often there is none -- but rather seeking appropriate resolutions to questions and issues. Students become active seekers rather than passive absorbers.

Exploring the art element of texture...

How can I transform this paper? What can I do to give it texture? How many different kinds of textures can I create? How do I arrange my composition so that it pleases me as an artist?  How do the shadows play on my other pieces?

An old adage states:
Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand."
                                                                                                                                      Joe Exline

This Week in Art... from Gabriela Elizalde on Vimeo.