Wednesday, October 30, 2013

primary still.

The 1st graders are looking at shape again this week. Specifically, natural and geometric shapes.

Before starting our activity I write these terms on the board and I start drawing examples of them underneath them. As I do this, students share out and give me more examples. I also talk about what a still life is in art.

After this, I share an illustration by British artist Marcus Oakley.

I ask students to quietly look at it and think about what they see. I model this out loud- "I see one color, two colors, 3 colors I know. I see a geometric shape. I see another. I see a color pattern. I see a natural shape I know..."

After the minute is up, students share and I write these on the board. I tell them that we will use these words to help us write a class sentence together at the end of the lesson. I also point out that for such a "simple" picture, we were able to see so many different things.

I ask the classes if they know the name for the 3 main colors in the picture. At least one student remembers the correct answer from kindergarten- primary colors. I add that to our word list as well.

We then draw out a still life together. Pencil first, marker tracing second, and color stick filling in third. As we draw, I repeat the vocabulary we are learning. We make our flower pots into cylinders by using ovals, straight lines, and curved lines at the bottom. I show them a picture of a jade plant and we use that as our plant in the back of the drawing. I talk about how cacti and these plants are common to our area in San Diego and how they are desert plants. There are always kids who have them at or near their homes.

When we trace the lines, I ask them to use one of the primaries to go over the natural shapes and another to go over the geometric shapes.

They can color their drawing with the 3 primary colors. I ask them to leave the natural shapes white, so those shapes can stand out. They may color shapes in solid or add color patterns to them.

At the end of the lesson, I ask the classes to help me put together a sentence that tells a reader about the project we made. I ask them use a couple vocabulary words from our word list. Once we have our sentence I read it and a student reads it to the class. 

These are the sentences so far-
Monday 20 & 22-  We drew a still life with cylinders and plants.
Tuesday 20 & 22- We drew a still life with primary colors and natural shapes.
Weds 724 & 19- We drew a picture with natural and geometric shapes.
Weds 12 & 14- We colored the cylinders with primary colors.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

light and shadow.

This week the 4th graders are continuing to work with shape, specifically positive and negative shapes.

I start the lesson with a recap of symmetry & proportion and then define positive & negative shapes. I share several examples of this concept in art and life. I share a couple illustrations from Brian Selznick's books and a few photographic examples.

I stress the importance of both positive and negative shapes in art. There needs to be a balance between the 2 for most works to be successful.

In this drawing exercise students are really dealing with 2 sets of pos/neg shapes. First, they have the building & background dynamic and then there is the figure & window shape one. I point out that attention to details along the edges of their shapes is crucial for the success of their piece. We can't see interior details, so the outer edges are very important in adding interest and variety to the shapes.

Students sketch out at least one concept before drawing on the black paper. 2 ideas are recommended. They do a light contour drawing on the black paper before filling in shapes. I model pressing hard for colors to be bold and bright and softly for dark colored areas. 

At the end of the lesson students fill out an exit slip. They need to identify the positive shapes in their design and to also create a simple narrative for their image. What is happening now and what will happen next. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

hello birdy.

I introduced the 1st graders to the work of American illustrator Charley Harper this week. This rotation's focus is on shape. Charley's work is great (for so many reasons) because he used different types of geometric shapes to create natural shapes in his art.

I introduced Charley and his work to the kids with the help of the official Harper website. We look at some of his images and I talk about the different shapes seen in them. Then we look at our focus image for the lesson.

I ask the students to quietly look at the image for a minute, although it's more like 30 seconds or so because they are dying to share. I ask them to think about things they see in the image- character, setting, shapes, colors, types of lines, etc. As students share, I write their responses on the white board right next to my smart board. With this, we are addressing one of their common core reading standards. Next week, I will have students do this again, and we will create a classroom sentence that describes the art we create with the vocabulary we used in the verbal art description.

side note- My goal this year is to align my lessons with the common core for each grade level, which I was overwhelmed with at first, but now that I'm doing it, I find it exciting and I'm looking forward to making my lessons even better:)

After this, I share the project that we will do and I ask students to tell me how it is different than Charley's original. It uses different colors and it is an autumn scene instead of winter.

I also introduced students to making and using a stencil to help create a repeated pattern in art. When we mad the stencil we addressed a 1st grade math standard- putting 2 shapes together to make a composite shape, and then make new shapes from the composite. We made a triangle and added a semi circle to the bottom to create a cone. This cone became our trees and bird in the art project. When we made the cone shape I had students put dots on the edges of their stencil paper so that their shape was as big as we needed it to be.

I modeled placing the stencil in the correct place on our brown paper and holding it still with one hand  while tracing it with the other. Once students did one, I showed them how to go across the circle piece of paper. We did a center row and then moved up above and then down below with our stencil.

We then added a color pattern to our trees, followed by line branch patterns. We made our bird by using the stencil on another piece of paper, and then traced it, cut it, and glued it in place. Details were added and the last step was to glue the brown circle onto a black square, so it looked like we were looking through a telescope.