With our recent string of warm weather, I've been all about summer-inspired projects! This was a project that I saw over at Create Art with Me's blog. It took us two days to do it but we probably could've stretched it out to three days if we had decided to add some more details.
We spent the first day re-touching on the idea of space and how we can create it in our artwork. I was impressed that the students remembered the three different ways to create the illusion of space (changing color, size, and overlapping)! We took this into consideration when we drew our mighty sandcastles! Students were free to add details such as flags, draw bridges, etc. They also drew things like starfish and shells in the foreground (also super impressed that they remembered the difference between foreground and background)! After they finished drawing, they traced everything with a black crayon.
They second day was spent painting with liquid watercolors and tempera cakes. As always, we also talked about proper use of Mr. Brush!
First grade did two mini projects based on Dale Chihuly. Chihuly is probably the most famous glass artist in the world. He actually graduated from Madison for his masters degree. I had the chance to see one of his works during spring break.
The first part of the project, students colored on coffee filters. When they were finished, I wrapped the coffee filters over a paper tube and then sprayed them with liquid starch. This caused the filters to harden up a bit and to look kind of like flowers. I don't have a picture of it but we used these as flowers along the vine that was put up behind the kids during their spring concert. They focused on using warm and cool colors on these.
For the second part of the project, each student was given an old transparency. They thought these were so cool. Most had never seen them before and I had to explain what they were used for. Makes me feel old! Students used colored sharpies to create patterns and designs on their transparency. When they were finished, I drew a spiral onto their transparency. Then they had to cut out along the spinal that I had drawn. I collected all of the spiraled transparencies and combined them to make a large chandelier that now hangs in front of our courtyard. It looks beautiful in front of the light!
Mark Rothko is one of my favorite painters! I had a class of 1st and 2nd graders who were a day ahead of the rest so they both got to do a quick one-day project on him so that the others could catch up. Rothko liked to make really large paintings. He wanted people to stand close to his paintings so that the only thing they could see was his painting. He believed that he could use colors and their interactions with each other to make people feel different emotions.
Students hadn't used chalk in awhile so I thought this would be a good opportunity for them to use it. Students were asked to draw two or three large squares or rectangles on the center of their paper. They could leave a little bit of space between each shape or they could have each square or rectangle touch each other. I encouraged them to blend two different colors together for each shape. I didn't tell them which colors to mix together, but encouraged them to think about their knowledge of color theory. Lastly, they filled in the borders around their shapes.
Clay Cat and Mice
1st grade got to make two clay projects in a row! Lucky ducks! This was a project I got from another elementary art teacher in Milton who this with her students.
We started off by reading a bunch of facts from a book about cats. The kids loved hearing all of the interesting things about cats! After that, we talked about how we created a pinch pot on the previous project and how we could use that shape to make the body of a cat. After making a pinch pot, students pinched two spots and indented two spots to create ears and eyes. Lastly, they learned how to roll a coil. A coil is like a clay snake and artists use them to create details, pots, and other things from clay.
After that Clay had been fired, we use tempera paint to finish them off.
Pinch Pot Sunflowers
1st Grade had the chance to learn about the super famous Vincent Van Gogh! We used his love for sunflowers as an inspiration for our pinch pots!
I remembered seeing a pinch pot sunflower project floating around Pinterest somewhere and thought that would be a good way to introduce the students to Vincent.
We started off by learning about how to create pinch pots, as well as learning about scoring, slipping, and smooth our flower petals to the edge of the pot so that they wouldn't fall off. I made sure to emphasize that if they didn't slip, score, and smooth, they would end up with a sad looking flower. This project proved to be a pretty tough one for them but we managed to crank it out in a single class period.
After firing their clay pieces and showing the students the kiln room, we got back our flowers. Students glazed the inside of the flower and the top/bottom of its petals. I asked them NOT to glaze the bottom rounded part of their flower because it would fuse to the kiln shelf. The glazing turned out beautifully! Students finished off their flower by painting the un-glazed bottom part green with tempera paint.
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President. Apple Teacher.