2nd grade took a look at contemporary British artist, Damien Hirst. Damien has a wide variety of art but we focused on his spin paintings. Hirst has a table that spins in a circular motion. He puts paint onto the table and as it spins, it moves the paint around. Sometimes he takes the spin paintings and then cuts them into new shapes like the butterfly above. 2nd grade learns about butterflies in their classroom so I thought this would be a good tie in.
Although we don't have a spinning table, we used paper plates instead to create our spin paintings. Each student was given 3 plates. They used the primary colors and applied the paint thickly to their plate. Then they flipped their plate over onto a sheet of paper, pressed their finger in the center of the plate, and then rotated it. As the plate rotated, the primary colors mixed and created the secondary colors. The kids thought this was the raddest thing EVER!
The next day, we took our 3 spin paintings and traced a circle around the edge of the paintings. Students cut out that circle and folded it in half so it looked like a taco. We then talked about symmetry and how a butterflies wings are the same on both sides. I showed them how to draw half of a basic butterfly and cut it out. They were welcome to make more complicated butterflies. They thought it was awesome that after cutting it out and unfolding the plate, they now had a full butterfly! For future purposes, I need to find a more effective way of teaching how to draw a butterfly.
The last day, we glued our three butterflies down onto a strip of paper. Then we used black paint to paint lines and shapes onto the wings, focusing on making them symmetrical.
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President-Elect. Apple Teacher.