Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Wiggly Snakes


Today we did a one class project on wiggly snakes. This lesson focused on developing both large and small motor skills as well as the capacity to create and sustain patterns. We began with a few drawing paractice sheets to warm up. These included a page focused on practicing the large curve of necessary to draw a snakes body, and a second page in which we practiced recreating patterns from simple to difficult. 


Once the kids got the hang of the large snake shape and the repeating patterns, we began work on the project. They drew wiggly snakes and then added patterned details aand color as they liked. Some kids chose to keep their snakes simple, emphasizing changes in color, while others created intricate patterns. These snakes are incredible. It is a real treat to watch the kids grow as artists. Every one of them is capable of practicing a new set of skills and then employing it to create a work that is uniquely their own. Not only that, but they seem excited and proud to share what is special and different about their work. This makes me so happy!










Thursday, March 28, 2019

Bee Hives!

Today the kids finished their bee hives! They cut out their bees and glued them to their honey filled hives!


 Here are the final pieces!











After that I handed back the small symmetrical prints the kids made a few weeks ago. Their task was to look at the print and see what images appeared to them in the pieces. Once they had an idea, they could use markers to add details to make their vision clear to others. I did not take pictures of all the work (there were about 100 pieces in all), but did send this work home with the kids. You can see it in person this afternoon! Below you can see pictiured a "work in progess" picture and fine work that Maddox did to get an idea of how we spent our time.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Bees In Honey Hives

Buzz buzz buzz!

Today we worked on bees in honey hives, a fun project incorporating painting, drawing and printing!

We begn by simply painting the background of our hives orange and setting them aside to dry.

Then we shared a lesson in drawing bees. We began by drawing three bees with black oil pastel. Then we repeated the process, drawing another 3 bees with yellow oil pastel.

Now, the exciting part. We pulled out our watercolors and painted our black bees with yellow - and our yellow bees with black! Due to the oil content in the pastels, the drawings "pop" through the watercolors. Beautiful!

We set aside our bees to dry and returned to the (now mostly dry) orange paintings. Each child was also given a large paintbrush, yellow paint and a rectangle of bubble wrap. The kids painted the bumpy side of the bubbly wrap and then gently pressed it onto the orange paper. When the listed it off, ta-da!, we had a honey comb print in a lovely glowing yellow!











Next week we will combine these pieces into one final finished work of art!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Today we focused on improving our drawing skills with a fun lesson on drawing spring birds.

We began with a few quick worksheets to warm up our hands and minds. These worksheets are not intended to show the "right" way to draw the items pictured, but only as a safe, judgement free way to practice translating mental shapes onto the paper.


After the worksheets, we did a "follow along" lesson where the kids drew their birds. Although many were able to do this independently, we did it together so that the kids could ask questions and make changes as they went. After completing a bird, we opened the project up to the kids imaginations. We talked about what we might add to the background and foreground of the scene to make our birds feel at home. The kids brainstormed on this together and added what they liked of: nests, eggs, clouds, sun, moon, branches, trees, worms, flowers, rainbows, (candy, trains, campfires!) and more.


With the drawings completed, the kids finished the work with colored pencils. Beautiful work!










Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Symmetry - Radial and Bilateral

Today we worked on advancing our understanding of symmetry.


A few classes ago, you may recall, we worked on printing monsters using a symmetrical printing technique. This involved painting on one half of out paper, folding it over, pressing and then unfolding. The monsters displayed bilateral symmetry - they are only symmetrical along one central axis.

Today we worked on radial symmetry. This means that an object is a mirror image of itself along a horizontal and vertical line at the same time. To create images with radial symmetry, we began by painting one of the distinct corners of a square of construction paper. We folded this in half along the horizonal line and pressed, then we unfolded the piece and refolded it along the vertical line and pressed. And voila! Here are a few fine examples:






Each child was able to create nine unique pieces for a grand total of 90 mini art works! Next week we will use these pieces to create a larger work of art. The kids also had an oppurtunity to use a worksheet to practice drawing designs that had radial symmerty. This is a much harder task as it requires moving and rotating shapes while drawing. It is very challenging - the kids did wonderfully. They pushed through the practice and really gained competency by the end.