Sunday, February 15, 2015

1st Grade Shape Monster Glyphs

First graders learned how glyphs, like the hieroglyphics of the ancient Egyptians or the petroglyphs of early Native Americans, are symbols that convey information without words.  After we looked at examples of these, I gave each class the following guidelines...

Body (choose your favorite color)
If your hair is black, make a square body.
If your hair is brown, make a triangle body.
If your hair is blond, make a circle body.
If your hair is red, make an oval body.

If you’re a boy, make one eye.
If you’re a girl, make three eyes.

How many years old you are?  Give your monster that many pieces of hair.

What’s your favorite subject in school?  Choose One.
            Math…1 tooth
            Reading…2 teeth
            Science…3 teeth

How many pets are in your house?
            1 pet…rectangle mouth
            2 pets…oval mouth
            More than 2 pets…semi-circle mouth

...and let them get to work with scissors, glue, and construction paper.  I love the variety of monsters they created.  Hopefully, I can convince the first grade teachers to display them together in the 300 building! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

4th Grade Winter Landscape Collage

Artwork by Zach D.

I used this lesson to reinforce the concept of showing space or depth in an artwork through color value and size.  First, students created a simple winter landscape using two values of blue, along with white, construction paper on a black background.  We used the formula of "1/2 white, 1/3 light blue, and 1/4 dark blue" to come up with good proportions of each color to the others.  Then the students created three values of green paper using a medium green, black, and white tempura paints. The following week, they cut trees of three distinct sizes from these values, making sure to use the darkest value for their closest and largest trees, their medium value for their medium sized trees, and their lightest value for the smallest and most distant trees.  Some students chose to add a little more detail to their largest/closest trees.  While most of my students at this grade level are already familiar with the term "background," the lesson offered a good opportunity to introduce them to the concepts of "foreground" and "middle ground" as well.