Tuesday, September 25, 2012

little kids and big squids.

This week I met with our youngest students for the first time this year. I must say that they are a delightful bunch:)

First, I went over my art room rules and expectations with them and then I read them a book.

The book was I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry. We talked about how Kevin is both the author and illustrator of the book. We then figured out what an author and illustrator does in a book.

As I read the book to them, I used my digital presenter to show them the pages. On a number of pages I showed them parts of pages and froze them on the screen so they could see the page layout and composition in full. 

We noticed how the feelings of the characters were shown with simple mouth lines and we identified happy, sad, thinking, worried, serious, and angry. We also noticed how big the sea creatures were in relation to each other- small, medium, and large. We also talked about what makes a drawing simple and what makes a drawing look more real- the artist uses more detail.

I love reading this to my kids at home, so it was a treat to share it with our kinder students at Zamo. I like being expressive with the reading, so kids got to laugh, and got a little spooked when I would raise my voice for a couple of the angry characters' voices.

We then drew our own squids in an underwater setting.  We drew the squids in pencil first. Students tried to make the eyes about the size of oreo cookies. Students added a mouth that showed how their squid was feeling. They could add eyelashes and moustaches if they wanted.

I talked to them about repeating lines, colors, or shapes to make patterns very briefly and then students added tentacles that were made of line patterns. Everything got traced in marker to make the squid stand out.

Then kids added color to the squid. They could make a pattern or color it solid. Students added details and other sea creatures around the main character to make their underwater drawings look more complete. I drew a bunch of stuff on my example and they could copy those elements or do their own thing.

I really like the way these turned out. There is so much individuality present in the different drawings. It's interesting to see the different levels of fine motor control among the classes. The shakiness of the lines, irregularity of the patterning, and asymmetrical features give the different squids a real sense of life.

Great job on your first project kinder kids!


  1. I'm figuratively Hi-Fiving you right now, D! I love this book and the lesson that goes with it. When I scrolled down to #5, it absolutely made my day! I had a crappy day but seeing your kiddos Squids made it all better. Please give them my sincerest thanks!


  2. Great expressions! I just used that book with my first graders and they liked it too. I really like the page where it says "I can draw like this (cartoony squid) or like this (shaded, naturalistic squid)."

  3. Oh these are really adorable!!!
    Made my heart melt:)

  4. Thanks for sharing this book. The squids are fantastic!

  5. I'm going to buy that book for all the little ones in the family for Christmas. Thanks for this marvelous post!

  6. Whoa! Who are these artists?! Hold Up! Someone's trying to take my job! I'm calling my lawyer!
    JUST KIDDING! Wow, looks like everyone did an AMAZING job. I love googlie eyes, how about all of you? These squids really look like they're having a good time!
    I'm glad you like my book. It was fun to draw the different sea creatures and to demonstrate different kinds of drawing. I was also able to incorporate two of my FAVORITE artists : Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso. Ask you teacher to show you some or their art. Mr. Don seems like a pretty cool guy.