Friday, February 13, 2015

legos and the common core.

The first graders are working on their value unit right now. They are also all on their solid figure math unit with their classroom teachers. Last week they all made solid figures out of gum drops and toothpicks and some made them out of paper too. I thought it would be great to reinforce some of the vocabulary and content in my first value lesson with them.

To do this, we created a lego inspired still life together. We were able to review the names of the solid figures and what faces, edges, and vertices are on those shapes. Since they weren't going to actually build the shapes with me, we talked about how artists can use light and dark values to make shapes look like 3d solid figures on paper.

To introduce the project, I shared a painting by Allan Innman. We identified how each of the legos in his still life had a light and a dark side. We also contrasted the last project we did together, a Charley Harper bird and forest project and Allan's piece to see how Charley's shapes look flat and Allan's look 3d.

To balance the "mathy" aspects of the lesson I also introduced mixing secondary colors and what a still life actually is.

Our school is going to be part of an arts integration grant where the art department integrates common core grade level standards in our instruction and the classroom teachers also integrate the arts into their instruction. It is very fluid right now, I feel like the ground is shifting a bit under me (not only me, but the 2 artist in residence that work with me- I'll be guiding them through it too), but I feel like it should be an interesting and exciting ride for the students and teachers over the next couple years as we work through it. This lesson is a response to that push for integration. Taking a unit the kids are working on at the time and addressing those standards as well as art standards. I  have addressed common core standards in many other lessons, but this one was the most aligned in terms of content and sequence. The lesson is a little dry and direct, I know, but I think the kids got a lot out of it.

Next week, they will be using value again, but with a more personal twist.

Students wrote 2 sentences. They needed to address the still life in one and to identify an aspect of one of their solid figures in the other.

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