Painting like Kandinsky
Another continuation of Cassie Stephens' unit on lines. For this class, we of course had to talk more about lines! We once again practiced making lines with our bodies and with Larry the Line. The kids were really starting to catch onto the names of lines by now. We took a look at some artwork by Wassily Kandsinky. Mr. Kandinsky was a Russian painter who was one of the first people to ever paint abstractly/non-representationally. He was largely influenced by music due to his synesthesia. Synesthesia is a condition in which one of your senses becomes activated due to the stimulation of another sense. So when Kandinsky heard music, he would oftentimes see colors and vice versa. While looking at his work, we tried to see if we could find some of the lines that we had been talking about. After that, because they had shown expertise in the previous class during my guided line drawing, they were allowed to paint whatever kinds of lines they wanted to! Like Kandinsky, we painted to music. The kids were asked to fill their papers with black lines. After the paper had been filled with black lines, they could then paint colors between their lines. While they worked, we listened to "Peter and the Wolf" by Sergei Prokofiev. This selection of music uses a different instrument for each character and allows for the students to interpret the sounds differently.
Larry the Line
This is a continuation of Cassie Stephens unit on lines. So we started off class looking at some snake lines that I had made. Each snake was a different kind of line and we practiced saying their names. As we called out the name of the line, we made that particular line with our arms. I couldn't help but giggle at 20+ kindergartners chanting out "vertical (with their arms straight in the air), horizontal, angle..." After that, we learned a poem about Larry the Line (he's a stuffed snake). After reciting the poem a few times, we got to meet Larry the Line (a toy stuffed snake). Larry's FAVORITEEEE thing to do in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD is to make lines. So as Larry made lines with his body, students who could tell me the name of the line got to come up and pet him. Next, I challenged them to paint the same lines that I could paint. Typically, I'm not one for doing guided lessons, but I wanted to see what the students were capable of painting. By the end of class, I had tons of beautifully painted black lines. We set the paintings on the back burner for a couple classes and then came back to them. We watched a funny music video about ROY G BIV that the kids LOVED! ROY G BIV is the acronym to remember the order of the colors for the rainbow. Then we watched another quick video of a lady reading a book about rainbows. Then we got to paint again! The students were given back their guided line paintings. They were shown how to paint a rainbow between the lines of their painting and then were asked to do the same. The paintings turned out lovely!
This student made their sculpture so tall that it kept tipping over. She asked how she could fix it and I told her to take a couple minutes to see if she could figure it out herself. She created a couple lines that ran from the ground to the top of the sculpture acting like a anchor so that it no longer tipped over. SO IMPRESSED!
Sculptures! Kindergarteners were so excited to make these (after they learned what a sculpture was). So I'm starting a big unit on lines based on one that Cassie Stephens does with her students. Cassie is probably the most well-known art teacher in America and for good reason. She is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G at what she does.
So we started our first class talking about what sculptures were and we came to a definitive conclusion that sculptures are NOT flat. They are 3D which means that they can be seen all the way around! We looked at a PowerPoint of different sculptures/statues and talked about what they could be made of. Then we transitioned into making our own sculpture made from strips of paper (lines). When asked how we could make the strips of paper stand up on our paper, we came to the agreement that glue would work. But how could we use the glue to make that happen? By giving our lines feet! Stinky feet, I might add! I showed the students how to fold feet on their strips of paper and then apply a small dot of glue to the bottom of their feet. This usually resulted in a squeal from our lines because they had ticklish feet or the glue was cold. I emphasized that we had to count to ten when gluing the lines to our paper. Counting to ten was good practice for the kids but we had to make sure that we always took a moment to shake our booties when we got to the number nine. I asked the students to add four lines to their sculpture and then they went to work. I couldn't help but laugh to look around the room and see a class of kindergarteners counting to ten under their breath and shaking their bottoms every time they got to nine.
For the next class, we saw how many different kinds of lines we could name. The students came up with zig-zag, curvy, wavy, straight, loop-de-loop, and the lines that are on the road (dotted/dashed). Then we talked about how lines could be used to create shapes, as long as the line held its own hand. I demonstrated to the students that when a line curved all the way around and connected with itself (held its hand) it could create circles, triangles, squares, and so many other shapes. Then I showed them how to make some of these shapes using the paper strips. To make zig-zags we had to fold the paper. Then fold again. And again. And again. And AGAIN! To make shapes, we had to glue our strips hands together which made a circle. If they wanted to make other shapes, we had to give our circle a pinch. OUCH! This created a water-drop shape. If pinched a second time it made an eye, football, or ellipses. If pinched three times, they then had a triangle. And if pinched four times, they got a square. Of course we had to say "OUCH!" for each pinch. After gluing each of these shapes onto my sculpture (and making sure to count to ten!) the students set to work making their own crazy lines and shapes. I asked them to make five lines/shapes for this class period.
I am so happy with how well these turned out! Next class we get to paint lines!
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President. Apple Teacher.