reading & writing with art

March 25, 2013

Stand Tall self portraits

Meet Molly Lou Melon. Molly Lou is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She doesn't mind. Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that to heart.  When Molly Lou has to start in a new school and a horrible bully picks on her the very first day, she knows just what to do.
Here is the FREE online link:
My kindergarten and 1st grade did watercolor with salt and glue for the background.  Next they drew their portraits on white paper and glued them on top of the watercolor.  Love them!!

March 21, 2013

2nd grade, Andrew Wyeth and feathers

 This project really "tickled my feather"!  2nd graders did an artist study on Andrew Wyeth.  We looked at many of his pieces then did our focus on his piece above Airborne.  They made their version of the drawing in sharpie.  They were to include the horizon line, a house (or church, or building or school), and draw feathers floating in the background.  They painted with water color then we glued feathers in the foreground.  They so love them too!
We used the book Feathers by Heather Forest to accompany our piece.  
 Feathers, a Jewish Folktale from Eastern Europe
This poignant tale about the power of words shows how a careless rumor can affect a whole village. Illustrated by Marcia Cutchin. August House Publishes, 2005.
Forest's retelling is simple and elegant, using some dialogue and spare descriptions. Cutchin's bright watercolor illustrations fill in the Eastern European setting well, using varying and fresh perspectives. Brightly colored feathers play prominently across the pages. The artist's style is rich in detail... This is an entertaining tale, ably retold, with a timeless lesson.
-- School Library Journal

March 15, 2013

Klimt, TR Mack & 3rd-4th Grade Trees

                  3rd & 4th graders combined two amazing artist and added a little of their own touches to create these stunning art pieces.  We did an artist study on TR Mack and Gustav Klimt prior to our creations.  

 Tree of Life:
The World of the African Baobab

Summary: "This handsome book presents a year in the life of the peculiar African baobab tree. Large two-page watercolor illustrations show the habitat of this unusual tree--the dry savannah--and provide close-ups of its resident animals. The tree's enormous trunk and its gnarled, rootlike branches are graphically depicted. The text is written in easily read calligraphy, adding to the attractive format. The cycle of growth, ending with rebirth at the end and the description of the tree's symbiotic relationship with man and beast effectively presents the ecology theme. An attractive, unusual nature lesson."  -SLJ

Below are the steps we 
followed to create:
1.  We used tempera paint to paint our background paper.  They had to decide to paint theirs with either warm colors or cool colors.

2.  We used maps of the great state of ARKANSAS to create our trees.  We used the mini dry erase boards for lots of practice before we drew on the map.

TIPS:  We cut the map in 1/2 and shared with our table buddy so we didn't waste the map.  MOST IMPORTANT they need to keep their swirls simple and BIG.  It became very difficult for some of them to cut out their trees if they added lots of tiny swirls.

3.  I did a small version to model for my students how to cut out around the lines I drew.  I recommend you MODEL.  The students cut out their trees.

4.  They used glue to outline their trees or go over the lines they drew.  They had to decide which would look better with the tree they designed.

5.  They selected a contrasting color of glitter to add to their trees.

6.  We sprayed a clear coat of enamel to give them the shine and a slick finish.

March 12, 2013

5th Grade Moai Clay Sculptures

 Moai Sculptures of Easter Island by my talented 5th Graders!  These are just so impressive.  We actually began by designing totem poles with our clay, but they were just too tall and didn't look right...they actually looked like the long eared sculptures which made me change the entire swing of my lesson.  So we made our virtual trip to Easter Island.  One of their favorites was the national geographic you tube video that described several theories for how the people moved the sculptures.  The link is:  http://youtu.be/J5YR0uqPAI8
We also had to watch the mini clip from The Night in the Museum.  It just turned into a fun project that the students are really excited about.  They are now currently working on "Did you know?" posters to display with our sculptures.

March 07, 2013

Wayne Thiebaud & a little Probability

My 2nd graders did a fab job with this SWEET art!  We did our artist study on Thiebaud and looked at many pieces of his art work.  Next they created a single gumball machine with sharpies.  We used crayons to color the piece.  They selected only 3 colors to use on their gumballs.  We did a crayon resist with water color over the top then we added our probability coin that they had to fill out.  You can see my power point we used here:

March 04, 2013

American Gothic Grid Art

Our artist study on Grant Wood was integrated in our math art projects by using a GRID to construct our American Gothic drawings.   The image I used for my students is belowI added the grid on top of the piece.  I displayed this on the projector and gave the students a blank grid paper.  I really think my 4th graders did a great job.  They did the fact sheet below to go with their art work as well.