Friday, December 11, 2015

Give Them Two

PK student

This week I realized that if you give a student (especially 3rd and below) 2 sheets of paper instead of one big one a couple of things happen.  First, they don't end up covering up their original work/idea. You see, kids just follow their urge to keep painting, it's natural.  But if you have the 2nd paper there ready for them they seem to follow their instinct of knowing when to stop and they start their next painting...awesome!  The other thing that happens is that you see the story of the first painting grow, almost like the next chapter. Here are a few examples of "giving them two".

Kindergarten student

Kindergarten student

In this lesson, the idea was to experiment with watercolor.  I also had dry media available at the table in case they wanted to incorporate the two. 

If Only We Could Bottle It

Sometimes, I have the opportunity of seeing a creative color genius at work.  I guess Picasso was right when he said "We are all born artists, the problem is how to remain an artist as we grow up". The painting below is by a PK student, the one below that is by the renowned Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann painted in 1959.  
 Hans Hofmann, The Conjuror 1959


Fostering Creative Independence

Central Idea: Artists can transform materials by using their imagination

Teaching for creative independence

*Give options for response
*Assign open-ended tasks

Here the Kinder students were working on a few things: cutting, tracing, drawing, gluing and arranging.  They started with a printout that I made which had about 6 lines going from one side to the other.  They also had paper cups they could trace onto colored paper and cut.  After that, they had to decide how to arrange their composition. I loved it because they were expressing their personal ideas while experimenting with both materials and ideas (in collage you have to try different arrangements before you commit to gluing). They had complete control over the final product.  I believe the practice of this type of art making can have a big impact on developing their creative independence.  Notice how wonderfully different each piece is!