Student curators, goal statements and an elephant parade are just a few ways we've started off to a great year in art class!
Each class began the year using my new Curator Board. The bulletin board in my classroom has been transformed into a gallery wall, with several empty frames. Throughout the year students will be curating their own work, the work of their peers and the work of famous artists.
Fourth grade students are currently learning about art from India. We've practiced drawing elephants from a distance and close-up. Students drew an elephant from the side and a frontal view. We looked at images of elephants in India, and noticed the bright decorations used for celebrations.
We watched the following video from the Elephant Festival in Jaipur:
Students will create two elephant paintings. The first is a close-up elephant portrait, and the second is a landscape painting featuring a side-view of an elephant. Students will decorate both elephants with designs inspired by elephants from India! Here are my teaching examples for each project:
Students have started drawing their elephant portraits and I am thrilled with how great they look so far!
Fifth grade students started the year off learning about artist, Kehinde Wiley. Wiley creates contemporary portraits inspired by the poses in traditional Baroque paintings. Students will select their own Baroque pose for an altered photograph project and create a unique overlapping pattern inspired by Wiley.
We watched the following Kehinde Wiley interview to learn more about the artist:
I asked students to write a goal statement regarding what they hoped to learn, produce, or achieve by the end of this project. The goal statements were written on the student's unit newsletter which will go home to parents shortly.
Each class watched the following video to learn more about the history of rose windows:
Each student has been sketching ideas for their rose window-inspired artwork on paper. The final project will be done on a round piece of cardboard. They are creating some really amazing designs!
Here are examples of what students have accomplished so far!
Fourth grade students have been studying cultures from around the world in art class. Students began their journey by describing the artwork and reading about customs from India.
This unit allowed students an opportunity to focus on the concept of radial design. By the fourth grade, students have learned a great deal about pattern in their previous art and general education classrooms. This year, while studying art from India, students identified how pattern may be balanced with the design extending from the center.
Both of the projects for our study of India required students to create a radial design. Images of textile patterns from India were presented on each classroom table for students to inspire their own creations.
Our first project was a mixed-media elephant painting. Each class identified colors and patterns used during India's Ganesha Festival. Students discovered the importance of elephants in this festival, as well as many beliefs and traditions in India.
Each student created their own mixed-media painting using colored pencils, watercolor and tempera paints. Students were encouraged to include at least one radial design in their composition.
Each student began the project by creating an environment for their elephant. Students used watercolor paints to create a landscape of their choice: desert, field, underwater, or even outer space! Students painted their elephants using tempera paint on a separate sheet of paper. Once the paper was dry, they cut their elephant out and glued it on their watercolor landscape. The elephant's blanket, face paint and other patterns and details were done with colored pencils.
We continued our study of India by creating personal hamsas. A hamsa is a talisman in Indian culture thought to protect the owner. Students carved several symbols to represent themselves and interests. We used cardboard, aluminum foil and tempera paint to create the artwork.
After students had completed their foil hamsas, they chose a background color to mount the artwork on. Once again, we reviewed the concept of radial design. Each student created a unique background using construction paper and permanent markers.
Since our study of India, students have continued a journey around the globe, studying the artworks of China and Japan. Soon we will be beginning a new unit, and students will create clay tiles using radial design inspired by Islamic art. I am particularly excited for this clay project as an opportunity to encourage philanthropy, a concept fourth graders are focusing on in their general education classrooms this year. More information and our finished projects will be presented at this year's Fine Arts Night at Oregon Elementary School on May 3rd!
Mr. DeWilde's Blog
I post information about projects and learning experiences from my curriculum.