Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hands-on approach to LINE





I wanted a lesson for my fourth grade that wouldn't take five weeks... I came up with this lesson introducing the students to the idea of line. We talked about what line is and what it isn't. We soon found out that line is way more than what it is not. I used scratch paper for the lesson. I figured by fourth grade the students had used scratch paper before... I guessed wrong. This was a super plus for me because when I used the scratch stick for the first time, my students eyed lighted up. It was Christmas and Thanksgiving in one.... The students were so excited to be given a ruler and stick. I had the students trace their hand with pencil (lightly). Next, the students took the ruler and drew the horizontal lines. When they came to the outline of their hand they skipped it and continued on the opposite side. Once the students finished the horizontal lines we talked about the impact of curved lines. Curved lines can make an object POP or look as if it is 3-D. The students started at the wrist and continued to the tip of the fingers. It was a two class period lesson ... But the students loved it and the other grades react to the projects every time they walk past them. I love getting compliments from the other teachers, but the compliments should go to the students... Nice job!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dinosaurs Love Underpants!





I got this lesson idea from a good friend of mine who teaches in Peshtigo WI. (Thanks buddy). I started out the lesson by reading the book "Dinosaurs Love Underpants," If you haven't read the book ... go out and pick it up! The students loved the idea of the book, and loved learning how to draw dinosaurs. We started out drawing the dinosaurs shape by shape. I explained what side profile means and how we can only see one eye and nostril when something is viewed from the side. After they drew the dino's they used oil pastels to color them in.
The next class the students created the background with oil pastels on black paper. The students loved how the colors popped on the black paper. Once the background was finished the students cut out their dino's.
For the underpants, each student picked out a piece of scrapbook paper. We put the scrapbook paper underneath the cut out dinosaur and traced out the outline of the dinosaurs back end. The students cut out the traced back end, and the finished product is as shown. The students had a great time with this project... I think every student has oil pastels on their Christmas list now! Yay:)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Welcome To The Secondary Colors





I only have one fourth grade class (The other art teacher I work with has the four others). This class has just finished their first project of the year. This pour class has missed four weeks worth of class, due to testing, severe storm watches, assemblies, and today a power outage due to five inches of wet snow. Well.... nine weeks later the secondary color still life painting lesson (long title...sorry) is finished. I started out the lesson talking to the students about the color wheel, and what colors make certain colors when mixed. I gave the students three watercolor tablets (red, yellow, blue). By only giving the student the primary colors they were forced to learn how to mix colors. We started out by mixing the secondary colors to make a color wheel.
The next class, the students found their tables filled with fresh fruit (oranges, and grapes) and flowers (orange and purple flowers). We talked about the horizon line and correct proportions. I gave everyone a grape to put on their paper... The grapes were small enough that the students could draw them in their actual size. This helped most students as they drew their still life. The next class I gave the students back the three primary colors and had them paint the flowers and fruit. They took a long time to complete, but they all learned a lot about color mixing and the finished product was worth the wait!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Tearing Paper is Hard Mr. Lawniczak"




In this lesson I read the book "Fredrick" by Leo Lionni. The book talks about a family of mice that get ready for the long winter soon to come. For this reason alone I thought it was a good book and lesson possibility. I love Lionni's illustrations, he using nothing but construction paper in the book. In an attempt to work on the Kindergartners fine motor skills I decided to copy the book and create our own Fredrick's. The students started by tearing a large oval shape from a rectangle piece of paper. This was by far the hardest part of this lesson. After this all of the accessories followed and were glued on to the white paper. The lesson went well, but I taught it step-by-step and it drove me crazy! I ended up with a bunch of carbon copy student art and I didn't find that there was enough free thought and creativity. The lesson is a great idea and has great potential... just don't teach it like I did if you pride individuality and free thought!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

John Says It Best!


My cousin sent me this picture and quote, and I absolutely love it. Anyone that knows me, knows that I love John Lennon ( He was not the greatest guy, but he was who he wanted to be and was always true to himself). We all want to be happy... some of us make bad choices and never get there, while others go through a lot of crap before they can finally be happy. I have gone through some hard times, but at the age of 26 I love this quote because I have lucked out and found a great profession that I not only love... I look forward to waking up and going to everyday!

I AM HAPPY!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

2nd Grade Eric Carle Seahorses







I had the students put their seahorses in the box and then we shook brushes with different colors of paint on them against the sides of the box. The students had a great time and I love the splatter look on the seahorses.


These are a sneak peak of my new Eric Carle "Mr. Seahorse" lesson. My students started by drawing seahorses using the whole paper. Once they finished the drawing we placed tissue paper on top of the drawing and I covered them in Modge-Podge. The next class the students had fun doing the splatter paint on top of them. Next week we will be cutting out the seahorses and placing them on a sheet of paper that the students have made to look like a underwater scene full of seaweed and air-bubbles made with a bubble solution and paint. The students loved blowing bubbles over their artwork (when the bubbles landed on the paper they left a small-large blue ring). Can't wait to show the final project all put together!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Paul Klee Inspired Cityscape's (Watercolor Crayons)



My inexperience shined through in this lesson... My main objective was for my third graders to gain experience using a ruler. I soon found out I had to teach my students how to use a ruler. The finished work looks amazing, but the drawing took longer than I had expected. I introduced them to the artist Paul Klee and his use of colorful shapes in his artwork. We took that idea and made it into multiple shapes (squares, triangles, and rectangles) to create a cityscape. This project has been done by many teachers all over this nation... I hadn't found it done using watercolor crayons though, so I though it would be a great opportunity to introduce the students to a new media.
Other than the struggles with the ruler in the beginning of the lesson, my students did a great job. They were so happy and surprised how great they looked when they cut out their cityscape and glued it on the black paper.