Tuesday, October 4, 2011

feeling trees.

The second kindergarten project this year has revisited the use of line in art. I got the idea for the project from art education blogger  Anne Farrell from Australia and her blog called Use Your Coloured Pencils. Her lesson used the Karri eucalyptus trees as inspiration. I used the eucalyptus trees that are everywhere her in San Diego. Funny thing, these trees are not native to So Cal, they were imported from, wait for it... Australia.

Our kinder project explored how you can use line to make texture, who things feel, in art. I showed the students a couple photos of the trees in San Diego, views from a distance and close up, so we could talk about their coloring and their surface texture. We felt things around us like the tables, our hair, and our skin, and described how those things felt.

I showed them an example of the project and pointed out how I had used line patterns to create the textures of the trees and the grass. I also introduced them to the subject of landscape in art. We then spent a couple minutes identifying examples of landscapes that I have around my classroom.

Pretty straightforward lesson.
1. draw ground line
2. add trees or sky color to the background
3. add grass texture pattern
4. tear 3 paper white paper strips so they had paper for the trunks and the branches. We practiced this step without any paper before doing it. Bunny arms out front, one arm pulls and the arm pushes. Some kids got a bit carried away with the tearing and ended up with a pile of small bits:) I emphasized tearing each piece only once.
5. glue each tree trunk down. making the top of each trunk touch the top of the background paper. This was one of the most challenging steps of the project. getting students to recognize the top both parts and placing the trunks down appropriately. If they were not at the top I said that was okay, it just looks like the tree has been "trimmed'.
6. adding texture to the trees with line pattern
7. make the tree look round by adding a dark color shadow to one side of each trunk
8. adding a cast shadow from each tree. I modeled how my arm cast a shadow on the projector screen when I held it up in front of the projector light. I then asked them where a tree would make a shadow when it blocks the sun.

Two lessons down and the classes have been a real treat. I think having a kindergarten student at home has improved how I approach the way I work with kinders in my classes. Thanks lil' buddy! And thanks to Anne and her Australian students for inspiring me to try this project.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link - this is so cool. Can't believe you have eucalyptus in San Diego. Maybe we can send you a few Koalas to live in them too!