Friday, May 15, 2015

5th grade Face Pots

The ceramic face pot project is a staple for my 5th graders! They look forward to it each year. I'm always happy to see their creations, plus it's a great Georgia folk art tradition and a perfect tie in to the requirements of our curriculum. To begin, students sketch two ideas for their pots, thinking about the shape of the vessel and what type of face they want to create - I allow them to be totally creative on this part and I give them a two-sided handout with tons of face pot ideas to get their creative juices flowing (for instance, it can be an animal face, cartoon face, etc.). Some kids even make two faces - one on each side of the pot! After the sketching phase, we build the pots over 2 class periods then add colored glazes. They are always a hoot! 

Kindergarten Koi Fish Ponds

This was an adorable lesson to work on with Kindergarten.The kids learned that koi fish originate from Japan and can be a symbol for good luck and friendship.
On day one, students drew concentric circles to simulate a ripple using white oil pastel onto 12x12 turquoise construction paper. Then they painted the paper with blue tempera cakes and plenty of water for a resist effect.
On day two, students used black crayon on orange construction paper to draw a koi fish using simple lines and shapes. Little wiggles were added on top of the fish to create scales. The final component was a lily pad - we even looked at some of Claude Monet's water lily paintings and observed the beautiful flowers that sometimes grow on lily pads!

P.S. The inspiration for this art piece came from a blog post I found via Pinterest.....however, the blog is no longer in existence.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

1st grade Woven Fish

This lesson was adapted from Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists. It's a very fun, unconventional way to incorporate weaving and the kids really love designing the fish. We used sharpies and construction paper crayons as well as colored construction paper. I kept things simple and only cut black and white paper strips for the weaving portion. The bodies of the fish were drawn, colored and cut out using 9x12 construction paper on day one. While the kids were away, I cut the slits by gently folding the fish in half. On the second day of production, students added at least 5 paper strips for the weaving and then added tails and fins cut from construction paper. Blub, blub.....

2nd grade Seascape Collage

These seascape collages made by my 2nd graders are so texturally rich - what a fun way to build a seascape! We tried several different methods for the "sky" paper, my favorite being the texture rubbings with watercolor resist. All the painted paper for this project was made on the first day. On the second day, we chopped up the "ocean" paper and glued it into place. We also made the hulls of the boats using neutral colored paper, making sure to include a small, medium and large size to convey depth. On the third day, we made the sails, added some clouds and a sun all cut from paper. Pretty wonderful I think!

4th grade Mexico Unit

4th graders wrapped up their unit on Mexico a few weeks ago. We made ceramic clay suns, Mexican folk art mirrors and even practiced drawing some Mexican Indian designs. The clay lesson is a winner and I've taught it for several years now. I figured out the secret to controlling the size of the sun is to limit the space during the planning phase, so I hand out a planning sheet with a circle that they draw sun rays around. I added a square around that circle so they have to stay within that space (you don't want those rays to get too long or skinny). It truly helps. I allow my students to show any emotion they would like and we look at a handout I made with lots of ceramic suns to generate ideas. During the time when we are waiting for the suns to be fired, students designed a folk art mirror (inspiration from Painted Paper). I bought silver wrapping paper for them to use for the shiny center. While the mirrors were being designed students who finished early took a look at some Mexican Indian designs and used them as a starting point to create a drawn composition.