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!
Just before school started, my mind was racing with project ideas to kick off the year. I wanted each grade level to have an engaging first project, relevant to our curriculum, but also share a common theme. As project ideas started coming together, I created lessons for: kindergarten, first, fourth, fifth and sixth grade classes, around the theme of hands.
Sixth Grade: Pop-Artist, Keith Haring
Over the summer, I found a t-shirt with a Keith Haring graphic. The graphic depicted a hand, with fingers crossed, in front of a bold red circle. Around the hand were Haring's famous marks, and above was his signature. I knew this could be a great project for sixth grade, as they study Pop Art in the spring. I decided to incorporate American Sign Language in with the lesson and asked students to illustrate a sign, using Haring's graphic style and mark-making. Each student chose a sign from printed examples and library books. Students practiced drawing and coloring their illustrations in their sketchbooks before attempting the finial painting. Students then painted a single-color circle behind their chosen sign, and used permanent marker to outline their illustration and add Haring-inspired marks for excitement and/or movement. Each student finished the project with a large artist signature on their paintings.
Fifth Grade: Street-Artist, Michael Owen
I discovered Michael Owen's Baltimore Love Project online this summer. I thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce students to a contemporary artist impacting his community with a social message. Fifth grade students looked at photographs and watched a video clip about the project before creating their own murals. Paper buildings were made using 9x12" construction paper. I gave each student a printed example of the alphabet using hand shadows, similar to Michael Owen's murals. Students were asked to create a mural using hand shadows to paint a word of their choice on their paper building. Once the paint was dry, students were asked to create an environment for their building. Buildings ranged from city skyscrapers to country farm houses. Details were cut and glued on using construction paper scraps. Students worked together to create a large town map using their finished projects.
Fourth Grade: Hamsas from India
Fourth grade students begin their study of non-Western cultures by looking at art from India. A hamsa is a talisman in Indian culture thought to protect the owner. Depicting the open right hand, this image is found in many cultures throughout the world. Students carved several symbols to represent themselves and their interests. We used cardboard, aluminum foil and colored permanent markers to create the artwork. Once students had completed their foil hamsas, they chose a background color to mount their artwork on. We reviewed the concept of radial design, one we will continue using throughout the year.
First Grade: Modular Sculpture
Kindergarten: Action-Painter, Jackson Pollock
Kindergarten students begin the school year learning how colors are made. We read the story Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh, about mice who learn how to mix paint using the primary colors. I decided to try a Jackson Pollock-inspired marble painting with my kindergarten class. We used the primary colors of paint to begin our project. Each student was given a plastic box with a sheet of white paper inside. Then the student rolled a painted marble inside the box until all of the paint had transferred from the marble to the paper. We repeated this step with each of the primary colors: red, yellow and blue. Once the paintings were dry, students traced their hand-prints onto the back of the paper and cut the shape out. We mounted the hand-prints on primary colors of construction paper.
Mr. DeWilde's Blog
I post information about projects and learning experiences from my curriculum.