Tuesday, March 26, 2013

so a chip and a can walk onto a piece of paper...

and the little ones laugh. badum bump.

Here's another one that was inspired by the work of Philip Tseng. He posted this image on instagram last week and I immediately thought... kinder project.

The kinders are currently learning about 3d shapes with their classroom teachers, so I thought this would make for a great extension to that learning. I shared this image with the kids and we talked about how one of the shapes looks very flat and the other looks very round. They identified the can shape as a cylinder and that the top of that shape was an oval.

I also talked about the connection between the two things in the drawing, the paint card and the finished, mixed can of paint. How people use the card to see if they want a certain color or colors when they go to the store before spending money on paint for a project.

The kinders have done a great job with the shapes and the expressions on their objects.

The drawing activity took half our time together, so after that I gave students another sheet of paper and told them they could draw another character on it. I also told them we would be turning that flat shape into a 3d cylinder after they were done drawing it. This activity took the illusion of the 3d solid in the paint drawing and made it real. The students have made some interesting cylinder sculptures too:)

Monday, March 25, 2013

reusin and recyclin.


I've been sick for a stretch, so it's good to be back pushing these buttons:)

The 3rd graders just finished putting together some interesting collages that were loosely inspired by the abstract wallpaper designs of Colette Clark, who runs Timothy Sue designs up in the bay area.

The focus of the project was to create an abstract design that had some shape repetition in it. The main difference between the 3rd grade interpretations and Colette's designs was that the 3rd graders had to use pre-exisitng materials for all of their design. The students got to dig into the large collection of National Geographics that I have in my classroom for this project.

The project was pretty straightforward. Students collected areas of color for the background and then glued them in place. They then added shapes made out of text pages to contrast against their brightly colored backgrounds. This was a project I thought would be done in one working period. However, I did not account for the students being fascinated by so many of the photos as they were collecting colors:) So be it. It turned into a lesson that everybody finished in 2 periods. It was interesting to see how engaged they were with the material as they gathered pieces for the project.

Of course, there were a couple students who went off and did their own thing:)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

kinder clouds

This week the kinders got DIRTY!
They had the chance to full on paint for the first time with me this year and, of course, they loved it:)

All the kinders made very flat space collages last week. There was some overlapping for limitied depth, but the designs were intentionally flat.

 So, this week I thought it would be good to focus on 3d space and volume.

I have been really digging the clouds we have had out here for the past few weeks. I've taken a bunch of pictures of them and shared a couple with the classes. I asked them if the clouds looked flat or round and fluffy. They told me those things looked round. I pointed out how the clouds were light on the top and dark on the bottom and that made them look round. I had the students hold their arms in front of them to see how the tops of their arms looked lighter than the bottom.

We then looked at how the clouds in the front were bigger than the clouds that were far away. I demonstrated this in class with students that were sitting next to me and ones that were far away. They discovered that the closer the student was to me, the larger their head looked to me.

After that I shared a painting of clouds I did and then we got cracking.

We drew out our cloud shapes and added shadows to the bottoms of them. Half way through my classes for the week, I also threw in a couple palm trees at the bottom and students drew these by pressing hard with their black color sticks.

I did a painting demo. How to hold and clean your brush between colors 101. Then they went at it. Some classes were asked to paint the clouds with warm colors and others with cool colors. When they painted the clouds I showed item how to leave a little space white at the top to make it look like the sun was hitting the top.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

making trees.

This kinder project was inspired by an image by illustrator Jamey Christoph. I recently did a project based on his work with the 2nd graders and thought another of his pieces would be an interesting mixed media project for my youngest students.

This image provides a clear cut introduction to the different parts of a tree. Trunk, branches, and leaves. Fruit too, but the classes weren't able to get to that last piece in the hour we had together.

When I shared this picture with  my classes we identified the parts of the trees, the different light and dark colors we saw, and how the background color got lighter as it went down the paper.

The students focused on these aspects in the lesson. Plus, they got some practice cutting, gluing, and pattern making.

I started the hands on part of the lesson with a demo on how to make a color lighter by adding more water to it. This part of the project was pretty mellow. Calm kids going back and forth, back and forth with their brushes to fill the space. When finished, students put their papers at the back of their table to dry.

Then we focused on making leaves, trunks, and branches. Students made straight cuts to make trunks and branches out of two pieces of different value brown paper. They also cut leaves out of different color value green sheets. To make the leaves, students folded the paper before drawing and cutting, so that they would cut out two shapes at once.

Students then added patterns to their leaves with crayola color sticks.

Once they had finished pattern making, they got their painted backgrounds from the back of their tables, so that they could glue the different parts together.

Before students glued on the parts, I asked them to place the pieces on the background where they wanted them to go. I told them the trunks should touch the bottom of the paper. I modeled how to cut or tear smaller pieces of brown to make branches. Once they had a plan, they were allowed to glue. Then, they could place and glue the leaves where they wanted to see them on their trees. I emphasized that they could overlap leaves and trees to make parts look they were in front of others.

I gotta say, I really like the way these turned out. Interesting choices and arrangements all around the kinder classes.

I put a few of them together. Kinda cool to think of them as a longer panorama:)

A funny note- as students were putting these together the abstractions of Franz Kline came to mind. Something about the diagonals, use of thick and thin, and the contrast of dark and light. I was kind of obsessed with the guy's paintings in undergrad, so it was interesting to have that flashback with the little ones:)