Sunday, January 30, 2011

3rd Grade Instrument Drawing/Collage

This lesson is adapted from a VAEA session I went to taught by Sarah Matthews at J.B. Watkins Elem, Midlothian, VA and Heather Levet at Elizabeth Scott Elem, Chester, VA.

I read the book I Live in Music by Ntozake Shange and discuss Romare Bearden's collages and how they were based on the love and excitment of the Jazz Scene.

Next students are instructed to choose an instrument and draw it lightly in pencil on 12 x 18 drawing paper. The instrument must fall off 2 sides to create interesting negative space. Students complete these drawings with oil pastels.

Students in 3rd grade do a lot of color theory and are asked to choose a color scheme to finish the background. I cut 1.5 inch squares of bleeding tissue paper and put into baskets for each table. They brush the paper with mod podge place the tissue square into the glue and then paint on top of the tissue paper to create a flat shiney surface when it dries.

Here are the best from this year:

And from last year:

I taught this lesson for the third year in a row and it just didn't have the excitiment for me anymore. The kids really enjoy picking and drawing an instrument - most choose an electric
guitar... but it seems that the background gets too tedious for them. This year so many did not finish. Part of that was due to the 3rd grade music performance happening right in the middle of the lesson - then snow days - so not all classes got the same amount of time to work on them. It seems even if I say today is the last day you must finish they still don't get it done. Maybe I will put this one on hold for a couple years or perhaps find a new way to finish the backgrounds.

What do you do with previously successful lessons that have seem to run their course???
And how do you get kids to finish when it is clearly time to move on... (or am I just being impatient?)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Self Portrait with Friend

I just finished up a lesson with 2nd grade that I have been teaching for a couple years now. I think it started out as a Fairfax County lesson and I have been editing and adding to it. First we start out by looking at Grant Wood's American Gothic.

I have set up a Flikr image that has everything I want to discuss and links to other facts... just roll over the image to see them all.

We have fun looking at and discussing parodies of the painting. This can bring up some interesting conversations. The pitchfork brings some great responses. Last year I asked what it was used for and someone said - "for an angry mob" this year one of my quiet little blond girls said: "to kill people."

Next students have to draw themselves with a friend or family member. One person has to overlap the other and there must be clues in the background that give hints to what the people are doing.

As students begin to finish I give them a worksheet that they have to write about what is going on in their picture. Then they will switch with a partner and they must write about the other person's artwork. I stress that they are not to try to guess what that person was drawing - they are to bring their own memories and experiences to the drawing and write about what the drawing reminds them of or what memory it brings up for them.

Students sharing what they wrote about each other's drawings.
The worksheet is from the book Talking About Student Art by Terry Barrett it is in the Davis Publications' Art Education in Practice Series which my professors used in Grad school. A lot of great stuff in them!

Love the pool details in the background.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Welcome back ~ Happy 2011

One of my resolutions is to blog more often! So for day 1 at least I am sticking to it. Today was my first day back and I am proud to say I did everything on my list which included starting new lessons, dropping my son at Tae Kwon Do and going grocery shopping and making dinner. So far so good! Usually I wimp out and put things off as long as possible.
For Kindergarten I ease back in with a simple crayon drawing lesson where we talk about drawing from memory. They get a chance to tell me what they did over break and what they got for Christmas, because they will tell me whether I want them to or not! I wish I was able to record some of what they shared with me when I went around and asked them to tell me about their drawings... hmmm I could record it on my camera. Perhaps I will try that with the next class, record the student telling about their picture and I could post it as their artist statement on Artsonia. See this has paid off already in a great idea.
Here are a few of the gems from my Kinders today.

Lee said he opened his present then went to hug mom and dad to thank them for getting him what he wanted.

This is Sophia playing outside with her American Girl Doll.

Morgan got to stay up until MIDNIGHT and watch the ball drop.

Ca'naan said this is the mess that was on the floor when everyone opened their presents. I helped him count how many people were opening... He has four brothers, and a twin sister and a mom and dad - that's seven!!

Welcome back everyone!
I hope the kids wonder and excitement is contagious!