Wednesday, November 20, 2013

fishing with abdulmari.

This week is parent conference week at Zamo. The art rotation is a little different because of that, so I have been working with a bigger variety of grade levels. I got the opportunity to work with a few 1st grade classes this week and I introduced them to the work of Filipino artist Abdulmari Imao.

We have a large Filipino population at school, so it was great to tie the lesson into their home culture and family roots. Abdulmari has been making sculptures and brightly colored paintings for many years. One of his main subjects is fish because he was a fisherman before becoming a professional artist. His work ties in well with my current focus on shape with the first graders and it also built on their knowledge of primary colors.

I shared some of his work with the students and then focused on the painting below.

We looked at it and then students shared what they saw and I wrote their responses out on the board next to the image. (ELA 1RL3) While doing this, I asked them to identify the characters and setting too. In their last project, they focused on plants as natural shapes, this time I introduced them to animals as natural shapes. Our last lesson focused on primary colors and we used those colors this time to create 3 new secondary colors. (Art 1.3)

The drawing process was direct. We drew the seaweed as stretched out "S" shape. We added the fish as modified greater than/less than symbols. Line patterns were added. Everything was traced in black.

The color mixing was done one color at a time. We started with green for our seaweed, orange for one fish, purple for 2 fish- using a light blue and a dark blue to mix. I emphasized pressing hard with the yellow and softer with the colors they added to it. Once they mixed all 3 colors, they could then continue to color the rest of their drawing using color mixes or the primary colors straight up.

When students were finished with the project I had them reflect on the project in a sentence. I modeled different sentence frames to get them started and reminded them where the key words about the project were in the room. I modeled a complete sentence for each class, but I liked how there was a lot of variety in the students responses. (ELA 1W8)


  1. I really Iike the "characters and setting" portion of your facts board. I'm going to have to remember that!

  2. I always love to see what artist you have to share with (us and) your classes! Love how you created the setting/breakdown of the art! I like the idea of the reflection sentence! Thanks for sharing with all of us! :)

  3. is thair a video on how to make this?